The common opposition presidential candidate, Maithripala Sirisena, this week denied that he had entered any pact with the Tamil National Alliance (TNA), as both sides attempted to distance themselves from the Tamil political party ahead of the election on January 8.
"We signed only one agreement at the Viharamahadevi Park and all other understandings are based on it," Sirisena told media heads, adding that he had not signed any individual agreements. Stating that he had met with members of the TNA to discuss the election, Sirisena stressed that no pact had been made.
Reports of the TNA leadership having decided to endorse the common opposition candidate continued on Thursday however, with sources close to the TNA leadership stating that the party's endorsement of Sirisena was deliberately being kept private.
"The TNA will only go public about their support of Sirisena 2-3 days before the election," a source told the Tamil Guardian on Thursday evening.
"A Sirisena-TNA pact would mean the Sinhalese will vote for Mahinda, like they did last time," he added.
Earlier this week, the former General Secretary of the UNP, Tissa Attanayake, who has since crossed over to the government side, accused the Sirisena of signing a pact with the "extremist" TNA.
Maithripala to restore Fonseka's decorations (03 Dec 2014)
Sirisena and JHU rally against war crimes probe (03 Dec 2014)
Who is Maithripala Sirisena? (23 Nov 2014)