Addressing the convention, Gotabaya said his first duty as the President will be to make the country a safer place to live. He also stated that he would not allow anyone to interfere with Sri Lanka’s sovereignty.
Opposition leader and former President Mahinda Rajapaksa took over as SLPP leader at the convention. He said that they have no plan to spread hate among their political opponents. Rajapaksa said that the next presidential candidate should be a disciplined person with a track record of delivering promises.
Sri Lanka won the war against LTTE in 2009 during Presidency of Mahinda while Gotabaya served as defence secretary.
Mahinda lost power in 2015 elections but SLPP, a breakaway group of Sri Lanka Freedom party (SLFP) made a comeback with victory at local body elections in February 2018.
United National Party (UNP) led by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremsinghe is the other main party which is divided over the issue of Presidential candidate.
Wickremsinghe plans to contest the elections but is facing stiff contest from UNP deputy leader Sajith Premadasa.