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President and SLPP Founder meet to form broad political alliance

April 25, Colombo (LNW): In a significant step towards forging a broad political alliance, President Ranil Wickremesinghe convened a meeting with Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) founder and former Party National Organiser Basil Rajapaksa, along with representatives from various other parties and groups.

The aim of the meeting was to expedite political efforts in anticipation of the upcoming presidential election following May Day.

Prime Minister Dinesh Gunawardena represented the Mahajana Eksath Peramuna at the meeting, which also saw the participation of key figures such as Ministers Prasanna Ranatunga, Tiran Alles, Harin Fernando, Kanchana Wijesekara, MP Mahindananda Aluthgamage, and Anura Priyadarshana Yapa.

Chief of Staff of the President Sagala Ratnayake attended the meeting on behalf of the United National Party (UNP).

Despite the collaboration, both the SLPP and the UNP, led by the President, have opted to hold separate May Day rallies, intending to merge for an alliance along with other like-minded parties post the presidential election.

Criticism has arisen regarding the economic crisis in the country, with both the SLPP and the UNP allegedly bearing responsibility. Some stakeholders have expressed concerns over the timing of political maneuverings amidst pressing economic challenges facing the island nation.

It was agreed that the President would emerge as a common candidate for the upcoming election, contesting under the symbol of the proposed alliance rather than the UNP symbol.

UNP Chairman Vajira Abeywardane and Minister Alles have been tasked with overseeing the registration process of the new alliance under a symbol acceptable to all parties and groups involved.

The launch of the campaign targeting the election is expected after the country secures the third tranche of the IMF (International Monetary Fund) in June, according to a political source familiar with the matter.

Additionally, efforts will be made to engage political groups led by MPs Wimal Weerawansa, Dulles Alahapperuma, and Pivithuru Hela Urumaya (PHU), all of whom are invited to join the new alliance formation discussions.

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