Colombo, (IANS) Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena on Thursday said he will not give nomination to his predecessor Mahinda Rajapaksa to contest the parliamentary elections from the main opposition United People’s Freedom Alliance.
The decision may lead to a major split in the opposition with a group of parliamentarians likely to join Rajapaksa in a separate party to contest the polls.
Rajapaksa on Wednesday said he would make a comeback 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 was still seeking the post of prime minister.
One of the main demands put forward by Rajapaksa 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 Rajapaksa to contest the polls from his party, sources who attended the meeting told Xinhua news agency.
Following this decision, Rajapaksa and his supporters are likely to contest the polls from a separate party, the sources said.