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Maithri asked to run for President in 2024

a year ago

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By Buddhika Samaraweera Local government representatives of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) have made a request to former President and incumbent Parliamentarian Maithripala Sirisena to contest for the Presidential Election to be held in 2024. When contacted by The Morning, SLFP Central Committee member Thisara Gunasinghe said that a written request was handed over to Sirisena at the Galle District SLFP meeting held on 29 July. According to him, the request had been made by SLFP Pradeshiya Sabha (PS) members in the area, and electoral organisers. However, when asked if Sirisena has responded to the request they made, Gunasinghe said that the former has not yet commented on the matter. Sirisena joined mainstream politics in 1989 as an MP and has held several ministerial posts since 1994. He was the General Secretary of the SLFP and Minister of Health until November 2014, when he announced his candidacy for the 2015 Presidential election as the opposition coalition’s common candidate. Following the Presidential election held on 8 January 2015, Sirisena was sworn in as the sixth Executive President before Supreme Court judge K. Sripavan at the Independence Square Colombo on 9 January 2015. Immediately afterwards, he appointed Ranil Wickremesinghe as the Prime Minister. After being sworn in, Sirisena stated that he would only serve one term. After assuming the Presidency, he became the SLFP Chairman, and instead of contesting the 2019 Presidential Election, the SLFP led by Sirisena backed the current President Gotabaya Rajapaksa. Meantime, in its final report, the Presidential Commission of Inquiry (PCoI) into the Easter Sunday terror attack of 21 April 2019 has recommended that criminal charges be filed against Sirisena under the appropriate provisions of the Penal Code for failing to prevent the Easter Sunday bombings that killed nearly 270 people and injured more than 500 during his tenure as the President and Defence Minister.  

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