Published On: Wed, Feb 7th, 2018

“I Will Run For Presidency In 2020;” Prime Minister Informs President: Pres. Election Likely To Be Three-Cornered Fight

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has informed President Maithripala Sirisena that he will run for the presidency in 2020, sources close to the  Prime Minister said.

This comes in the wake of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) announcing that President Sirisena will be the party’s presidential candidate in 2020.

“This means the President will not have the support of the UNP at the next Presidential election. The  UNP will have its own candidate,” a spokesman close to Prime Minister Wickremesinghe said.

“The Prime Minister has informed his decision to the President early so that the SLFP will not count on the support of the UNP,” he added.

Political observers, however, said if the Prime Minister decided to run for Presidency in 2020, it would completely wipe out the possibility of Sirisena’s re-election.

‘It will make the Presidential election a three-cornered fight and President Sirisena will be the weakest candidate out of the three,” a senior political commentator said.

It is still not clear as to who will run for Presidency from the Joint Opposition. Although some MPs have indicated that former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa will be their candidate, no official statement has so far been made in this regard.

Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa is ineligible to run for the Presidency again due to the provisions of the 19th Amendment to the constitution. .

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