President Maithripala Sirisena on Monday ended all speculation about his political future saying he will not retire in 2020 when his current term ends and wants to form a government without “murderers.”
He quashed what he called rumours on social media that he intends to retire in 2020.
“There are many who ask if I will retire in 2020,” he said in Batticaloa while addressing a May Day rally. ” I will not retire. There is so much work to be done.”
He said he will reform the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) and ensure internal party democracy before unveiling a new national plan for the country.
“For this new program that I will unveil soon I don’t need the support of politicians who have committed murder, those who are corrupt or have robbed public money,” Sirisena said.
“I ask how many political leaders are in the country who have not committed murder or robbed the people,” he said.
While the reference to murders could be aimed at members of the Rajapaksa regime which stand accused of extra judicial killings, including “white van” abductions while the “robber “ claim could be aimed at the United National Party over the central bank bond scam.
There was no immediate reaction from either the UNP or the Rajapaksa faction to Sirisena virtually declaring his candidacy for the 2020 presidency.
Elections are due to be held by late 2019 for the new president to be in office by January 2020 unless the current government amends the constitution to take away the presidency as they promised.
Sirisena has the cornerstone of his new program for Sri Lanka will be national unity. Anyone supporting unity and reconciliation was welcome to join him, he said.
He opens a new session of parliament on Tuesday and is expected to extend a formal invitation to all political parties to join him.