Mahinda drops strong hint for ‘his brother’ to be Presidential candidate

Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa has provided strong indication that his brother could be the Presidential candidate at the next election in 2019.

Speaking to the The Hindu, he was asked who would lead the SLPP into elections in 2019, given that he had completed two terms and according to the 19th Amendment that is the maximum available terms for presidency. He replied saying that he would be leading the SLPP.

“There is a view that despite the Amendment I can fight elections and then fight it out in court.But I still have to decide whether to take that risk. Another option is to announce a candidate acceptable to all” he added.

When asked further if a member of his family would be in the running, or would someone outside be also considered, the former President dropped the strongest hint that his ‘brother is certainly a contender’, although the did not specify if it’s Gotabaya or Basil Rajapaksa, but ruling out his son Namal based on age requirement.

“My son [Namal Rajapaksa] can’t be a presidential candidate since they have now raised the minimum age to 35 years, instead of 30, so he can’t be considered in 2019. My brother is certainly a contender but the party and the coalition will have to decide who the people want” he replied.

Gotabaya Rajapkasa had been in the thick of campaigns recently specially taking part in many Muslim functions.

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