MR calls for early general election

By Maheesha Mudugamuwa

Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday called on President Maithripala Sirisena to ensure that Parliament was dissolved immediately and a general election held to end the current political instability.

Addressing a special media briefing at Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) headquarters in Battaramulla, former President Rajapaksa said the present government had no moral right to be in power as it was clear that people were no longer with it and they had rejected its economic policies as well.

Rajapaksa said the SLPP’s victory at the just concluded local government elections was historic as it was achieved within a short period of time since the formation of the new party.

Commenting on the government’s election campaign, Rajapaksa said it was a hate campaign aimed at mudslinging against the previous government and added that the SLPP had been able to win 232 councils while the other two main political parties suffered heavy defeats.

Rajapaksa further noted that the a general election should be held in 2019.

Asked whether he would accept the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) leadership if offered, former President Rajapaksa said he would definitely accept it. "But, the Sirisena I know will never offer it," he said.

The former President was of the opinion that one of the most serious issues was that the government took "revenge" on the soldiers who had fought against the LTTE.

He said the Joint Opposition (JO) would not resort to conspiracies to grab power and it would secure power in a democratic manner.

Responding to a query, he stressed that even though the leadership of the SLFP and UNP had decided to control some local government bodies, the people at ground level would not allow that to happen against their will.

People had rejected the government and the just concluded LG polls had been a referendum on the government’s performance, Rajapaksa said.

The media briefing was attended by Prof. G. L Peiris, SLPP Chairman, MP Wimal Weerawansa, MP Bandula Gunawardena, MP Udaya Gammanpila and several other key members of the JO.

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