"While Colombo has been in an uproar over President Maithripala Sirisena approving former President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s nomination for the upcoming Parliamentary elections, recent revelations tell of conditions placed on this approval that may foil latter’s plans to be back in a seat of power. The President has reportedly met a group of United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) leaders at his official residence in Wijerama Mawatha on Tuesday and the meeting was to focus on the nominations lists of the UPFA. Although the former President Mahinda Rajapaksa was granted nominations from the UPFA, it has been revealed that the President has imposed several conditions on Rajapaksa contesting the upcoming general election. This announcement of conditions seems to have converted the UPFA Medamulana Camp’s celebratory attitude into a somber one overnight. One specific condition states that Rajapaksa will not, under any condition, be appointed Prime Minister. In addition MR was limited to only contesting in the Hambantota District electorate. Incidentally, the former Head of State only received a nomination from the UPFA and not its main constituent Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP), which requires him to contest under the Betel Leaf only. President Sirisena has also conveyed intent to remove UPFA association with the SLFP altogether. Furthermore, it was said that should Rajapaksa be indicted of charges by any international or local tribunal, he would have to immediately vacate his seat as an MP, if he is elected into a seat. In addition Rajapaksa is not to involve the Buddhist extremist group, Bodu Bala Sena or its new political party Bodu Janatha Peramuna in any manner in his election campaign. Since this announcement, the press conference scheduled to be held on 9 July by the Opposition has been postponed with no future date cited and MR’s planned 8 July filing of his nomination papers has also been put on hold. These collective statements and conditions makes Mahinda Rajapaksa’s expected return to power a far less likely situation than it seemed just a few days ago. What’s more, the momentary doubt felt by the populace over the approval of the nomination is slowly beginning to dissolve as the country’s new President seems to shine through as the shrewdest of them all. Only this time – he’s working for the people and not for any personal or nepotistic gain. It remains to be seen how the Opposition will react to this new turn of events, but political observers believe, in all likeliness they may not be seen going quietly into the night. (Colombo Page) - See more at: http://www.ft.lk/article/442733/President-imposes-conditions-on-Rajapaksa-s-nomination#sthash.M4LqVoij.dpuf"
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