Monday, November 23, 2009

Conditions for endorsing his presidential candidature

Former Army Chief General Sarath Fonseka yesterday said that he was ready to negotiate with Opposition political parties regarding any conditions for nominating him as the common presidential candidate.

Fonseka yesterday told The Island that there was nothing wrong in discussing conditions though some may find fault with such a strategy. Fonseka said that in keeping with his policy, he could discuss with Western People’s Front leader Mano Ganeshan, MP his conditions to facilitate an agreement.

Meanwhile, Lalith Weeratunga, Secretary to President Mahinda Rajapaksa told The Island that the President had given the retired General time to stay at the General’s House at Buller’s Road and there was absolutely no truth in accusations that there was a move to ‘throw Gen. Fonseka and his wife out on to the streets’.

Both the JVP and the UNP have already initiated negotiations with Fonseka though there is final agreement.

Opposition and UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe last Wednesday said that Fonseka’s nomination as Presidential candidate was subject to his acceptance of the UNF’s ten-point policy statement. Mano Ganeshan has subscribed to the UNF’s statement.

Wickremesinghe said that a decision on the Opposition presidential candidate would be taken only after an election was announced and he was confident that Fonseka had a clear understanding of the UNF policies.

"There is no reason to assume that General Fonseka is not a democrat," he said.

Among the conditions put forward for Fonseka’s candidature are that he must abolish the executive presidency or substantially reduces its powers in the event of being elected President, provide the TNA and JVP important portfolios in his Cabinet, ensure the speedy resettlement of northern IDPs, establish all the independent commissions required to ensure good governance and appoint Wickremesinghe as the caretaker Prime Minister.

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