ACMC splits following Bathiudeen’s decision to support opposition

All Ceylon Makkal Congress Senior Deputy Leader M.M. Zaheer and its Western Provincial Council Member Mohammad Faiz have decided to support UPFA candidate President Mahinda Rajapaksa in the January 8 presidential election.

 Addressing a press conference at the SLFP headquarters on Tuesday, the two ACMC members said that the ACMC leader and former minister Rishad Bathiudeen had taken them and the rest of the working committee members of the party for a discussion with opposition’s common candidate Maithripala Sirisena. "None of us knew that Bathiudeen had already made a decision to support Sirisena. It had never been discussed within the party but Bathiudeen suddenly told media that our party would support Sirisena. That undemocratic action cannot be accepted and therefore we have decided to break ranks with the ACMC and support President Rajapaksa," Faiz said.

 He said that the ACMC had no problem with the government and Bathiudeen had misled the rest of the party members.

ACMC Senior Deputy Leader Zaheer said that a large number of ACMC provincial councillors and local government members were ready to join forces with the UPFA and support the President at the forthcoming election. "I do not think any of our members in the Polonnaruwa District would support Sirisena, who is exerting pressure on them," Zaheer said. 

Zaheer said that he had requested all Muslims to support President Rajapaksa and pointed out it was wrong for any ACMC member to leave the UPFA after obtaining all facilities provided to them by the government.

UPFA MP Sajin de Vass Gunawardena was also present on the occasion.

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