The main opposition party in Sri Lanka (UNP) has formed an alliance to contest at the presidential elections. Led by UNP the new alliance will contest as the United National Front.
The front would bring together the main opposition, the United National Party with an alliance with minority Tamil and Muslim parties to confront President Mahinda Rajapaksa, who is hoping to ride back to power on a popular wave after defeating the Tamil Tigers, earlier this year.
The newly formed alliance has agreed on a possible candidate for the presidential elections. And the leader of the UNP, Ranil Wickremasinghe, has already announced conditions which his party's candidate for president has to accept. According to Wickremasinghe's conditions, the candidate must agree to appoint a caretaker government with Wickremasinghe as the PM.
The chosen candidate is none other than the Tiger tamer, Chief of Defence Staff, General Gardihewa Sarath Chandralal Fonseka.
Fonseka has thus far made no mention of entering into politics.
Interestingly Ranil Wickremasinghe has pledged to abolish Executive Presidency in Sri Lanka if his party wins. With his new set of conditions which requires Fonseka to agree to Ranil Wickremasinghe as PM, Fonseka's role in the governance of Sri Lanka will be minimal.
As always Ranil Wickremasinghe and the UNP's strategy to gain control of Sri Lanka is founded on the assumption that the Sri Lankan voter is stupid. This is probably why they have struggled to win an election in recent times. Fonseka may be a war hero, but his supporters won't vote for him only to hand Wickremasinghe power. The patriots and the nationalist all share the same view that Ranil Wickremasinghe is a traitor.
The government is set to announce election dates on Sunday, November 15, 2009. For Fonseka to contest in the election he must first relinquish his post in the Sri Lankan military. He was appointed as Chief of Defence Staff for a 2 year term which ends in July, 2011. In order to contest in 2010 he must hand in his resignation. That's where Rajapaksa will have the last laugh.
...according to article 3(4) of the CDS act, the resignation will not take effect until the president accepts the resignation in writing. The question I raised was, what if the president does not accept the resignation, or sends the letter accepting the resignation only after nomination day? The point I made last week was that all this speculation is uncalled for, and that we have to wait for Nov. 15 until the announcement of an election is made at the SLFP convention, and then we have to wait and see who will be legally in a position to hand in nominations before the end of the deadline.