Rajapaksa said he could not reject their appeal for a come back. (Photo: Kushan Pathiraja/ Daily Mirror)
Rajapaksa to make a comeback in August poll
(NIDAHASA News) Ousted Sri Lankan president Mahinda Rajapaksa today (01) announced that he would be running for the upcoming general election in August.
Speaking in front of a large crowd of supporters in his hometown, 69-year-old former president said he could not reject their appeal for a come back.
“For the sake of the country… we will contest the upcoming election,” he said. “I ask all patriotic forces from all parties to join us in this struggle to regain the integrity of our motherland.”
Rajapaksa's supporters hope to make his the next Prime Minister, but it is not clear from which party will he run for the parliament.
President Maithripala Sirisena, the new leader of Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) had earlier denied granting nomination for his former boss, who he had defeated in Presidential election on January.
"Should he becomes to Prime Minister, he would spend only one bullet to become to President", Sirisena reportedly told.
However a fresh statement issued by SLFP states that they will not nominate a 'Prime Minister candidate', but did not rule out candidacy for their former leader.
The charismatic leader, who led the country for past decade and ended the three-decade-long civil war against Tamil separatists, still enjoys a vast popularity especially among rural Sinhala Buddhist majority. Several top politicians from SLFP and its former coalition, especially those whom being charged for corruptions publicly back Rajapaksa.
However several prominent figures of SLFP had already threatened to leave the party if Rajapaksa is to be given the candidacy. Former president Chandrika Bandaranayake had reportedly told that she too would run if SLFP allowed Rajapaksa to run.
Rajapaksa was criticized during his rule for an increasingly authoritarian style of government and alleged human rights abuses and mega corruptions. However with his still remaining popularity among Sinhala Buddhists on Southern areas of the county, if runs from SLPF, he stand a good chance of to become the next Prime Minister.