Colombo: Sri Lankan opposition leader Sajith Premadasa has announced his withdrawal from the presidential election on Tuesday, just a day before Parliamentary elections.
Premadasa who is the son of a former Sri Lankan president tweeted: “For the greater good of my country that I love and the people I cherish, I hereby withdraw my candidacy for the position of president.”
In a tweet Premadasa pledged to support his rival Dullas Alahapperuma from the ruling party. “Our alliance and our opposition partners will work hard towards making Dullas Alahapperuma the winner”.
A member of Premadasa’s Samagi Jaya Balawegaya (SJB) party said that Premadasa’s decision to withdraw from the presidential race is because he wants to clinch the post of prime minister.
“We are aiming for the prime minister’s post,” said the member of the SJB that holds 54 of the 225 Parliamentary seats. “There is an understanding.”
The presidential race has now narrowed down to acting president Ranil Wickremesinghe, who is backed by the ruling party that holds a majority 145 seats in parliament; Dullas Alahapperuma from the ruling party; and Anura Kumara Dissanayake, leader of Sri Lanka’s largest leftist party.
The nation predicts that Wickremesinghe, who protesters want out, is most likely to become the country’s president.
On Monday, the SJB party’s national organiser said Premadasa will not accept the post of prime minister if Wickremesinghe becomes the president.