The Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) Anuradhapura Convention has nominated President Maithripala Sirisena as the party’s candidate for the forthcoming presidential election, sources said.
SLFP sources said the nomination was approved unanimously.
“The candidate for the next presidential election will again be Maithripala Sirisena,” Parliamentarian Duminda Dissanayake told the media..
“No other name will be nominated,” he said.
“SLFP’s victories always started from Anuradhapura.”
Speaking at an SLFP event on January 31, President Sirisena said 2019 would be “an election year”, and asked party-men to prepare to fight the election.
He claimed there would be “a new government in place” in 2019.
The president has the right to call a snap presidential election after January 8, 2019. The scheduled date for the presidential poll is around end-December.
There has been speculation that Sirisena would call a snap poll immediately, as the Mahinda Rajapaksa faction of the SLFP/SLPP does not have a clear candidate for the contest.
President Sirisena came to power in January 2015, backed by a coalition led by the United National Party, to defeat Rajapaksa.
Rajapaksa is barred from contesting for a third term as president under the 19th Amendment to the Constitution which was passed subsequently.
President Sirisena had pledged that he would not contest for a second term.
In October 2018 President Sirisena quit the coalition government and sided with Rajapaksa to form a new government and called for fresh parliamentary elections.
However, in a landmark decision, the judiciary ruled the move was unconstitutional.