Basil Tamed – Ranil Moves

Basil Tamed – Ranil Moves

The Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) is now almost certain to support Ranil Wickremesinghe if he decides to contest the upcoming presidential election.

President Ranil Wickremesinghe will decide whether the presidential election or parliamentary elections should come first, said its founder and chief strategist, Basil Rajapaksa. However, there have been secret talks among senior parliamentarians of the ruling alliance and the opposition regarding whether parliament could be dissolved with majority consent.

A number of current parliamentarians feel that if Anura Kumara Dissanayake of the Jathika Jana Balawegaya wins or secures a reasonable number of votes in a presidential election, they will have little or no chance of retaining their seats in the upcoming parliamentary election.

Basil Rajapaksa had an hour-long meeting with President Ranil Wickremesinghe on Thursday. The meeting was held at the one-time presidential residence at Mahagama Sekera Mawatha (former Paget Road), and these meetings are set to continue. President Wickremesinghe has received a clear signal for his candidature from Basil Rajapaksha and clan, as they have no other option.

President Wickremesinghe has also met with Rajapaksha loyalist Gamini Senarath, a former Secretary to the President, on how to navigate the current political situation.

Basil Rajapaksa is now faced with the challenge of organizing a May Day event that would reflect the strength of his party, which is in denial of a decline.

There is only about another one hundred days until the presidential election, and the next hurdle for Wickremesinghe is to win over some stalwarts from the opposition, particularly the Samagi Jana Balavegaya (SJB) and other smaller political parties. However, wooing opposition politicians who lack credibility is not going to get votes for Wickremesinghe, but it will help him to emerge as a common candidate.

There is speculation about two cabinet ministers who are planning to cross over to the SJB and are in talks with Sajith Premadasa.

President Ranil Wickremesinghe is having a busy schedule of meetings to portray himself as a people’s man who is responsive to the public. Most of his engagements with the public have shifted to a question and answer mode.

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