I’m not lucky enough to be presidential candidate – Basil


National Organiser of the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) Basil Rajapaksa says that Opposition Leader Mahinda Rajapaksa will be officially selected as the leader of the party at its national convention this Sunday.

Speaking at a press briefing held at the party’s headquarters today, the former minister said that the SLPP’s first ever national convention will commence at the Sugathadasa Indoor Stadium at 3.00 p.m. on Sunday (August 11).

He said that one of the main tasks at the convention will be to officially select the leader of the party, which had so far been without an official leader, according to the constitution of the party.

“I don’t have to say who. You all know who it is,” he said. Referring to former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, he said that the position of party leader will be accepted by the individual who had so far given leadership to the party despite not holding the official position.

He said that during the same event the party will also formally announce its candidate for the upcoming Presidential Election.

He said that Mahinda Rajapaksa will be announcing the presidential candidate based on the permission of the other political parties aligned with the Joint Opposition.

When quizzed by a reporter as to why he did not vie to become the presidential candidate, the former minister jokingly said that he is not lucky enough for that.

Responding to another question, Basil Rajapaksa said that the SLPP has no intention of forming alliance or have any dealings with the political parties connected or suspected of being connected to the Easter Sunday attacks.

The SLPP National Organiser was also asked about comments from certain Joint Opposition members that former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa, if elected as president, would become a fierce leader.

Basil said that he is able to give that “certificate” that Gotabaya is not a fierce leader and also that their party will not work for such a leader.

He also said that that his brother, Gotabaya, is actually very good at managing and that he believes the former Defence Secretary would safeguard democracy in the country.