Sri Lanka’s former president Mahinda Rajapaksa confirmed that his party had received a “proposal” to form a coalition government, but denied reports that an agreement had been reached.
“We want to intervene to prevent a crisis in the country in order to help the people,” Rajapaksa told reporters. “However, there is no talk of a coalition government. There is only a proposal. We don’t know until it happens and the chances of it happening are extremely slim. However, if a proposal comes from that side, then we can decide on it as a party.”
His comments come after reports of a meeting with current president and former political rival Maithripala Sirisena last week, suggesting that they are now looking to work together ahead of presidential elections on the island next year.
Sirisena, the current leader of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SFLP), ran against Rajapaksa for president in 2015, entering a coalition with the United National Party (UNP). The coalition has been losing electoral ground to Rajapaksa’s Sri Lanka People’s Party (SLPP), which swept local elections in the Sinhala south earlier this year.