Thursday, 22 August 2019 06:09

JO to announce alliance with SLPP before Presidential polls

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The Joint Opposition politicians loyal to Opposition Leader Mahinda Rajapaksa and the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna on Tuesday unanimously agreed to form a broader political alliance, with the expectation to contest the upcoming election, which will be publicly declared before the Presidential polls, Parliamentarian Dullas Alahapperuma said yesterday.

Speaking to media at the Opposition Leader’s Office, Alahapperuma said the unanimous decision to form an alliance was made during a special meeting held at the Opposition Leader’s residence on Tuesday evening.

All JO members and SLPP Presidential candidate Gotabaya Rajapaksa had been present at the discussion. This was the first instance where Rajapaksa was present at such a meeting.

“The policy framework of the alliance has already been finalised, and the name and leader of the alliance has also been decided. The alliance will be publicly declared before the Presidential Election,” Alahapperuma said. He noted that political parties which were members of the JO had had a lengthy discussion on the policy framework of the new alliance, which could resolve the prevailing socio-economic challenges and attain higher economic development in Sri Lanka.

“More than thirteen political parties have been loyal to Opposition Leader Mahinda Rajapaksa for the past four-and-a-half years. They will also be part of this alliance, and a few other political parties that were not part of the JO have also joined. This will be a broader alliance that can lead the country forward,” Alahapperuma said.

Referring to talks between the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) and SLPP, Alahapperuma said the final decision on a forming a coalition between SLFP and SLPP would be decided following one-on-one discussions between President Maithripala Sirisena and Opposition Leader Mahinda Rajapaksa. But this is yet to take place.

“The talks between SLFP and SLPP were successful. But both parties agreed during the discussion that the President and the Opposition Leader will have to make the final call. The meeting of the two leaders will be held soon, and we hope that will pave the way to form a broader anti-United National Party (UNP) alliance,” he said

Earlier, Alahapperuma told media the alliance will be formed under the name of “Sri Lanka Podujana Ekabadda Peramuna” but he declined to comment on the name during Wednesday’s press conference.

(FT)

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