CBK says Mahinda the UPFA candidate
Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapakse will be the UPFA's candidate at the upcoming Presidential elections. This has been formally conveyed to him by President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga.

It came when she met Premier Rajapakse for a lengthy meeting on the controversial joint mechanism last Monday at Janadipathi Mandiraya.

President Kumaratunga told Mr. Rajapakse it was she who had made him the Leader of the Opposition and later the Prime Minister. Similarly she would also make him the UPFA's Presidential candidate but she warned him not to be misled by other political parties.

The veiled reference was to the JVP, the Government's junior partner which has issued an ultimatum to quit the UPFA if President Kumaratunga does not withdraw the joint mechanism before June 15.

Kumaratunga had also mentioned Premier Rajapakse's candidacy for the Presidential elections to a group of MPs. The other contender, Tourism Minister Anura Bandaranaike had been present on that occasion.
(Read Political Column)

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