No rift with UPFA says Hakeem

Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) leader Rauf Hakeem says there is no rift between his party and the ruling UPFA following the decision by the SLMC to contest the local council polls in the east on its own.

Hakeem says the decision by the SLMC to contest the election under the tree symbol in the eastern province was taken following a mutual understanding reached with the UPFA.

He said that the SLMC will now finalize its nominations and file them in all three provinces tomorrow.

The SLMC will contest the election in the remaining two provinces with the UPFA.

Meanwhile Cabinet spokesman Minister Keheliya Rambukwella told state radio after the cabinet meeting this morning that the number of candidates to be allocated from each political party, which is part of the UPFA alliance, for the eastern provincial council election was decided at a meeting conducted with the political parties including the SLMC.

Minister Rambukwella added that, accordingly, the UPFA nominations for seven districts in the three provincial councils will be handed over today and tomorrow.

He said that the government has also accepted the right of members of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party or members of constituent political parties of the alliance to either join or leave the Alliance.