The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), a consulting and survey institute in the Great Britain, points out that the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP), led by Mahinda Rajapakse, would win the upcoming Presidential Election. The institute declares that after winning the highest number of seats at 2020 presidential election and general election, the SLPP would establish a new government.
Two main points that have been reviewed in the survey are the victory achieved by the SLPP at the last Local Government Election, and the16 Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) ministers who left the government to support the Joint Opposition (JO).
The EIU issued a similar report earlier, detailing that then President Mr. Mahinda Rajapakse would be re-elected as the President for the third time. The survey pointed out that even though the Rajapakse government’s Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena was contesting as the Common Candidate at the Presidential Election, the parties in opposition would fail to acquire the majority of votes.
The EIU then stated that Mr. Mahinda Rajapakse called on for a presidential election two years before, at the most appropriate moment, and that his victory would be absolute.
However, proving these survey reports false, Mr. Maithripala Sirisena was elected as the new President, with a majority of votes.
Political commentators highlight that the conclusions of the survey conducted by the EIU are more likely to be false in this year as well.
The power of majority earned by the Rajapakse squad at the past local government’s election, which was the base for the Economist Survey, seems to be dwindling across time, and it was well demonstrated by Namal Rajapakse’s protest held on 5 September. Though organizers of the protest claimed to be bring hundreds of thousands of people to Colombo and raid the city, they failed to bring at least 50,000 of their supporters to Colombo. Besides, even though they also claimed that they would be staying in Colombo until next day, the campaign had to be terminated before midnight, due to lack of participation of the supporters and on weak organizing tactics.
The EIU has conducted this survey on the basis of the previous political situation of the country and media reports. Nevertheless, as of now, the atmosphere which used to be beneficial to the Rajapakses has been altered, and it will further continue to disfavour the Rajapakses. The political grounds have been changed, and dragged few steps back by Namal Rajapakse through unsuccessful protests. On the other hand, the government is scoring through their projects like ‘Gamperaliya’ and ‘Enterprise Sri Lanka’. Through the establishment of Special High Courts, legal procedures are being carried out against those who are involved in corruption, frauds and crimes of the previous government.
These are the facts that need to be evaluated in reviewing the fate of the Mahinda group at the upcoming presidential election, not the victory of the SLPP at the previous Local Government Election.
Although the previous Local Government Election has been won, many who voted for the Mahinda group are now disappointed, and most of them have understood that they have once again been fooled. Besides, within the past couple of months, a considerable count of SLPP candidates who had won the election, were accused of various allegations including criminal cases.
Who is SLPP Candidate?
The SLPP is aware of the fact that a strong candidate must be fielded for the upcoming Presidential Election, however, they are confused as to who their candidate is. It is certain that Mahinda Rajapakse cannot contest again. There are many discussions within the Mahinda group on their next presidential candidate.
Even though MP Udaya Gammanpila stated that Mahinda Rajapakse said that Gotabhaya Rajapakse will be their Presidential Candidate during his interview with the Hindu Newspaper, Kumara Welgama and Vasudeva Nanayakkara have opposed it. They said that the brother Mahinda implied of is Chamal and not Gotabhaya.
Media institutions closer to Mahinda Rajapakse have already given a wide publicity about the Economist news. Through that, Mahinda and group are attempting to deceive the public and continue to plunder their votes. SLPP members, during the protest on 5 September, showed that it would not be easy and Rajapakse group has not understood it yet.