2019 presidential polls electoral pacts: SLPP assures public no truck with those involved in terrorism and extremism
Posted on August 9th, 2019

By Shamindra Ferdinando Courtesy The Island

August 9, 2019, 9:27 pm 

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Basil

The Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP), on Thursday (8), assured that it wouldn’t, under any circumstances, enter into electoral pacts with political parties or groups blamed for the Easter Sunday attacks or responsible for promoting extremism.

SLPP strategist Basil Rajapaksa gave that assurance in response to media queries at a special press conference called by the party at Kingsbury to announce the party convention on Aug 11 at the Sugathadasa Indoor Stadium.

Flanked by SLPP Chairman Prof. G.L. Peiris and its Secretary, attorney-at-law Sagara Kariyawasam, Rajapaksa explained how a section of the media had inadvertently described a Muslim organization affiliated to the UPFA/SLPP at the 2010 and 2015 polls as the one allegedly involved in extremist activities.

Asked whether the SLPP would seek an alliance with M. L. A. M. Hizbullah,who had represented more than one political party in parliament, Rajapaksa said that the Batticaloa District-based politician represented the SLFP. He, however, pointed out the role played by Hizbullah in the last SLFP Local Government election campaign at Kattankudy and Eravur.

Rajapaksa reconfirmed that his brother, Gotabaya, had renounced his US citizenship though he Basil had retained it.

In terms of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, enacted in 2015, dual citizens cannot contest either presidential or parliamentary elections. Gotabaya in April this year gave up his US citizenship to contest the presidential poll on the SLPP ticket.

Asked whether the SLPP could win the 2019 contest without the SLFP’s support, a smiling Basil Rajapaksa pointed out that the UPFA had lost the last parliamentary election though there was no division at that time. He pointed out how the UPFA had suffered the loss of one million votes in August 2015 after Mahinda Rajapaksa had polled 5.8 mn votes at the presidential election. The bottom line was that though a victory seemed assured in case the SLPP and the SLFP teamed up, the actual situation could be different, Rajapaksa said.

Commenting on the JVP declaration that it would field a candidate on its own for the 2019 presidential poll, Rajapaksa pointed out that there were occasions when the JVP changed its decision at the last moment.

Rajapaksa said that anything could happen before the election.

Asked whether the SLPP was ready to receive former President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga’s backing, Rajapaksa said there wouldn’t be any issue.

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