President Maithripala Sirisena wants to go forward as a party with the joint opposition, Western Province Chief Minister Isura Devapriya said yesterday.
Addressing a news briefing, the Chief Minister said former President Mahinda Rajapaksa and senior members of the joint opposition still wanted to be a part of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) although several new party members were opposed to it.
“Several senior members of the JO including Mahinda Rajapaksa do not want to split the party. However, there are several people against this. The SLFP and JO are still at the discussion level to finalise whether they should contest together,” he said.
Chief Minister Devapriya said party supporters were disappointed with the joint opposition because of their speeches at recent political fora. He said the people had already decided which party they would choose in the event of a split.
“It is up to Mahinda Rajapaksa to decide. However, the president do not want to split the party. That is why he has given approval for chief ministers to meet and discuss the matter with former President Rajapaksa. The discussions were however unsuccessful due to the attitude of several JO members who are close to former President Rajapaksa,” he said.
Commenting on the upcoming local government polls, he said the Elections Commissioner had given all facilitates to hold the election.
“The election can be a better chance to prove the power of the SLFP. The alliances are still with the SLFP and are yet to decide under which symbol they are going to contest at the election,” he said.