‘JO’ divided on Gota’s candidacy

By Skandha Gunasekara

The “Joint Opposition” (JO) is divided on fielding former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa as their camp’s presidential candidate, The Sunday Morning learnt.

Earlier, “JO” member and MP Kumara Welgama noted his objections to Gotabaya Rajapaksa being nominated as the presidential candidate.

Now, “JO” stalwart and UPFA Parliamentarian Vasudeva Nanayakkara told The Sunday Morning that many, especially senior politicians, in the “JO” and the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) were not in support of the former Defence Secretary contesting the presidential election.

“Many, including myself, do not want Gotabaya Rajapaksa as our presidential candidate. I will not name others who are of the same view, but it is a view held by many, particularly the senior politicians and party leaders,” he said.

When The Sunday Morning asked who MP Nanayakkara preferred as the “JO’s” presidential candidate, Nanayakkara said he preferred the eldest of the Rajapaksa brothers, former Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa.

“Chamal is left of centre and thoroughly democratic,” he said.

When queried as to what his impressions were of Gotabaya Rajapaksa, MP Nanayakkara responded: “He is less democratic.”