President Maithripala Sirisena says the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) will not agree to contest the Presidential election under Mahinda Rajapaksa’s ‘flower bud’ (Pohottuwa) symbol.
Speaking in Kurunegala today, Maithripala Sirisena said that Rajapaksa and Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) Presidential candidate Gotabaya Rajapaksa met him yesterday to discuss the elections.
Sirisena said that at the meeting he asserted that the SLFP will not agree to contest under the ‘flower bud’ and instead had proposed that a common symbol be agreed on.
He said that the SLFP is prepared to back Gotabaya Rajapaksa at the election but not at the expense of destroying the identity of the SLFP.
“Our first priority is the country and then our party, the SLFP,” the President said.
The President also recalled that he was the first President to issue five gazette notices on one day, last October during the political crisis.
He said he issued the gazette notices in the best interest of the country.
Last October the President ignited a political crisis by sacking Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and the cabinet and appointing Mahinda Rajapaksa as the Prime Minister.
However, the President says Mahinda Rajapaksa did not make use of that opportunity well. (Colombo Gazette)