In keeping with the Sri Lanka Freedom Party Constitution, the SLFP Central Committee has decided to hand over the leadership of the party to President Maithripala Sirisena later today, when the party's hierarchy meets the President for a discussion.
"Article 12-2(a) of the SLFP Constitution stipulates in clear terms that when a person contests as a SLFP candidate at the Presidential Election and if he were to win, he automatically becomes the President/Leader of the Party," said former Minister and Senior SLFP Vice President S.B. Navinna, citing the relevant article of the SLFP Constitution.
Maithripala Sirisena won the election contesting as the Common Candidate of the Opposition maintaining that he was the legitimate General Secretary of the SLFP.
With him being elected the country's President, a group of SLFPers led by former Minister S. B. Navinna decided to support him as new SLFP President.
The group wanted President Sirisena to be duly given the leadership of the SLFP.
In the meantime, the Central Committee which met took up the issue at hand as the demand of the group might lead to a split in the party and according to Navinna, after extensive discussions had finally decided to hand over the SLFP's leadership mantle to President Maithripala Sirisena.
"The SLFP Central Committee comprises 52 members, and the majority has decided to handover the party's leadership to President Sirisena," Navinna added.
SLFP Secretary Anura Priyadharshana Yapa said the party would make an announcement today, regarding the appointment of the SLFP leader.