Sri Lankan president refuses nomination for predecessor

Colombo, July 3 (IANS) Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena has said he would not give nomination to his predecessor Mahinda Rajapakse to contest the parliamentary elections from the main opposition United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA).

The decision may lead to a major split in the opposition with a group of parliamentarians likely to join Rajapakse in a separate party to contest the polls, Xinhua reported on Thursday.

Rajapakse on Wednesday said he would make a come-back to politics by contesting the August 17 parliamentary elections and look to form a new government.

He however did not say under which political party he would look to contest the parliamentary polls and if he is still seeking the post of prime minister.

One of the main demands put forward by Rajapakse when he met Sirisena in a meeting recently was that he be nominated as the UPFA’s prime ministerial candidate.

Sirisena, in a meeting with UPFA party leaders on Thursday evening, said as the chairman of the UPFA, he would not give nomination for Rajapakse to contest the polls from his party, sources who attended the meeting told Xinhua.

Following this decision, Rajapakse and his supporters were likely to contest the polls from a separate party, the sources said.

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