As of now , it is one of the most curious questions on the minds of Sri Lankans as to who will be the president of the Sri Lanka in 2020 .
Given the unpredictable context of Sri Lankan politics it is impossible make an exact prediction at least of who will contest the upcoming presidential election let alone who will win .
Nevertheless there are several possible names heard around the arena . Of them , the names of the former Defense Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapakshe (newly formed Podujana Peramuna ) , the UNP front liner Sajith Premadasa are suggested along with the names of current President Maithreepala Sirisena (SLFP ) and the Prime Minister Ranil Wickramasinghe (also UNP ) .
The present government of Sri Lanka has failed to meet the expectations of its citizens . Therefore the people are on the look out for someone fresh to deliver the promises U.N.P. and its alliance made back in 2015 ( of eliminating corruption , providing employment ,continuing economic growth , etc) or at least someone to continue accelerated development that was once there during Mahinda Rajapakshe period .
Given the progress of the present government and the results of the recently held local government elections , it is of the majority belief that neither Maithreepala Sirisena (SLFP ) nor Ranil Wickramasinghe (UNP) stands a chance to be the president in 2020 .
While the name of Gotabhaya Rajapakshe is strongly suggested from the Podujana Peramuna , the choice of the candidate from U.N.P. is very much unclear . Given that U.N.P nominates the popular Sajith Premadasa , it is safe to expect a close battle between these two fresh faces of Mr. Rajapakshe and Mr. Premadasa .
Both Gotabhaya Rajapakshe ( brother of former president Mahinda Rajapakshe ) and Sajith Premadasa( son of former president Ranasinghe Premadasa ) hail from well established political backgrounds.
Even though Gotabhaya Rajapkshe has never been a “Politician” in the strict sense , it is known that he was a key player behind the scenes in Mahinda Rajapakshe’s government . Furthermore , as the Defense Secretary he was side by side with his brother ( then president ) ending the 30 year long civil war . Moreover he is known to play a major role in successfully re constructing the urban areas of Colombo into a spectacular and a planned city as the Defense Ministry was combined with the Urban Development Ministry after the war . Gotabhaya is also a retired Lieutenant Colonel of the Sri Lankan Army .
Sajith Premadasa is of course an experienced politician being a member of the parliament since 2000 having held many senior positions within the United National Party ( U.N.P ). He is well popular among the supporters of his party and is often suggested to replace Ranil Wickramasinghe as the party leader . Self-launched welfare programmes targeting the rural public has won him a strong support base among the rural citizens . While the conduct of the present government of Ranil Wickramasinghe has made the supporters to grow distant from the party , it is expected that a leadership under Sajith Premadasa could unite and bring members of the party together .
However the exact vision or policies of either one is unclear . If elected president , one can expect both of them to follow the footprints of the two former presidents they share the kinship with . Gotabhaya Rajapakshe is most likely follow a ruling with slight autocracy high lightened while Sajith Premadasa would have a government high lightened with welfare programmes .
But Sri Lankan Politics is very unpredictable.
Image source "google"