Retired General Sarath Fonseka’s candidature for presidency as a consensus Opposition contender from the newly United National Front (UNF) was subject to his accepting a 10-point policy statement of the Front, Opposition leader and former PM, Ranil Wickremesinghe has said.
Topping the list of 10 must-do policies is the abolition of executive presidency – the current form of governance in Sri Lanka where the President is all powerful – or substantially reducing its powers.
Fonseka, in the event he fights and wins the presidential polls, would also have to give important cabinet portfolios to the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) and the Marxists Janatha Vimukhthi Peramuna (JVP) important portfolios in the Cabinet, ensure speedy resettlement of the Tamil refugees and establish independent commissions for good governance.
Wickremesinghe was quoted by the Island newspaper as saying: "there is no reason to believe that general Fonseka is not a democrat."
The newspaper reported that if parliamentary polls precede presidential elections, Wickeremesinghe would be the prime ministerial candidate of the UNF, an 18-party coalition.
Rajapaksa is expected to formally announce the dates for the Presidential and Parliamentary elections in the next two to three days.
In another development, Wickremesinghe, in a booklet released, on Thursday containing what he called a 25 year policy plan for the country, suggested the setting up of an "executive prime minister post, a President who is responsible for safeguarding the Constitution, a clean political system and also setting up of a State Assembly that will formulate national policies.
According to Daily Mirror online, he also suggested holding the general election, election to the executive PM’s post, provincial polls and local government polls on a single day.