The Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) today announced that it has decided to support Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) Presidential candidate Gotabaya Rajapaksa at the 2019 Presidential election.
The SLFP also appointed Prof. Rohana Lakshman Piyadasa as the acting chairman of the SLFP.
SLFP General Secretary Dayasiri Jayasekera said that the SLFP will sign Memorandum of Understandings with the SLPP and Rajapaksa.
Jayasekera said the SLFP decided to back Rajapaksa as there was a fear the SLFP may lose the Presidential election if it put forward its own candidate.
Dayasiri Jayasekera insisted that the SLFP was not joining the SLPP but will only support Gotabaya Rajapaksa at the election.
Senior SLFP member Nimal Siripala de Silva said that the decision was reached after a lot of debate in the party.
He said that the SLFP had the choice of either backing the United National Front, Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna or stay neutral.
Siripala de Silva said that in the end the SLFP decided to back Gotabaya Rajapaksa at the election.
The former Minister asserted that the support given to Gotabaya Rajapaksa was conditional.
He also said that while at the Presidential election they will contest under the ‘flower bud’ symbol, at future elections the SLFP and SLPP will contest as an alliance under the ‘chair’ symbol.