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The division within the Joint Opposition (JO) in fielding former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa as their presidential candidate has re-emerged with calls by some to field former Minister and Speaker, MP Chamal Rajapaksa as the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) candidate at the next presidential election.
JO MP Kumara Welgama has continuously voiced his objections to Gotabaya being nominated as the presidential candidate of the SLPP. Welgama finally made inroads to the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) saying he was not in agreement with the choice of presidential candidate of the SLPP.
However, senior JO MP Vasudeva Nanayakkara continues to voice his objection to Gotabaya and support for the senior Rajapaksa sibling, Chamal.
Nanayakkara says that many, especially senior politicians, in the JO and the SLPP were not in support of Gotabaya Rajapaksa contesting the presidential election.
“Many, including myself, do not want Gotabaya Rajapaksa as our presidential candidate. I will not name others who are of the same view, but it is a view held by many, particularly the senior politicians and party leaders,” Nanayakkara has told the media.
The senior MP has further noted that he preferred the eldest of the Rajapaksa brothers, Chamal.
“Chamal is left of centre and thoroughly democratic,” Nanayakkara has said.
As for Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Nanayakkara’s response was, “He is less democratic.”