Speaker Karu Jayasuriya says he is prepared to consider contesting the Presidential elections if his conditions are met.
Jayasuriya says he has been asked by civil society and others to consider contesting the next Presidential election.
He says he is prepared to consider contesting if abolishing the Executive Presidency is the mandate under which he contests.
“Any prospect of my accepting a nomination to contest as a presidential candidate would be conditioned upon the support of all forces united behind the critical objective of abolishing the executive presidency, which has been the objective of civil society since 1995,” he said.
Jayasuriya also said that strengthening the 19th Amendment to the Constitution must be part of the mandate if he is to contest.
“In addition, the democratic reforms first brought forward by the 17th Amendment to the Constitution and thereafter strengthened by the 19th Amendment must be safeguarded and form the basis for broader constitutional reform. I must emphasise that I would not accept such an offer out of a desire for the powers of the presidency. I would only serve in office for such a limited period as is necessary to complete the constitutional reforms that we promise in order to lay the foundations for a secure, prosperous and advanced democracy,” he said.
He also said that if he is to contest then it should be as the candidate of the United National Front and with the backing of all concerned.
“However, it is my view that if I am to come forward as a candidate representing the alliance led by the United National Front, it must be in accordance with the party constitution and not without the blessings of all parties concerned,” he said.
Jayasuriya said that the common thread raised by all of the stakeholders who met him and requested him to contest the election is that they believe the country needs new leadership to strengthen democracy, move away from political paralysis and progress towards an era of functional administration. (Colombo Gazette)