Rajapakse to contest for Sri Lankan PM’s post

Colombo: Former Sri Lankan president Mahinda Rajapakse has decided to contest for the prime ministership in the parliamentary elections scheduled to be held after April 23.

Rajapakse, who lost the presidential election in January, has decided to contest under the banner of the Sri Lanka Labour Party, a seperate political party and not his own Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP).

Sri Lanka Labour Party leader A.S.P. Liyanage told Xinhua that Rajapakse has already discussed the matter with his party and had also gathered support for the move from some SLFP members.

Rajapakse had decided to contest under the Sri Lanka Labour Party banner after failing to secure the full support of the SLFP.

Rajapakse was replaced by current President Maithripala Sirisena as the chairman of the SLFP following the presidential election in January.

The former president was later named as an advisor to the SLFP and it was widely speculated that he would make his return to politics before the parliamentary elections.