- Created on Saturday, 21 July 2012 14:50
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SLMC leader Rauff Hakeem addressing a media conference at the party headquarters ‘Dar- es- salaam’ yesterday said the decision of contesting under a separate nomination list was taken by the SLMC Executive Committee after a series of discussions with several government ministers, including Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa, Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena and Petroleum Industries Minister Susil Premajayantha.
The Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) reiterated it will be with the government even though the party contests separately for the Eastern Province at the forthcoming Provincial Council election.
Rauff Hakeem noted that the SLMC is still a part of the ruling coalition and the decision to contest the Eastern Province separately is not a threat to the government. The decision was taken especially to maintain the SLMC identity.
“The decision to contest the polls separately was based on ‘what was the best for the party and its members. We had two options as to contest in one single nomination list with the UPFA and to contest separately. Until the last moment, the SLMC stand was for contesting in a single list. Finally, the SLMC had to take the second option to contest separately” Hakeem said.
'The SLMC will join the UPFA after wining the Eastern Provincial Council and never part from the UPFA. In the past, on many occasions, the UPFA allowed certain political parties to contest alone keeping their own identities. The SLMC has not betrayed the UPFA though it contests separately. The cordial rapport between the SLMC and the UPFA will remain for long as usual. The friendly relationship between the two parties will not be hampered by this decision, “Hakeem said.