For all the contention over whether Mahinda will run for Prime Minister, there already is an SLFP candidate, by default. Nimal Siripala De Silva. While I’ve heard the gentleman from Badulla is intelligent, I’ve often seen photos of him asleep at various functions. Under Mahinda, that was an essential qualification for being Prime Minister, but these current times might require a bit more action. Honestly, the SLFP today is like the Lannisters after Tywin was killed and Tyrion crossed sides. It’s unclear who’s in charge.
Mahinda Rajapaksa returning as Prime Minister after the UNP passed a resolution giving the PM more power would just be tragicomic. I also can’t imagine that the actual SLFP wants to get back in line behind him and Basil and Namal. Mahinda broke every party in the country, including his own. Most of the people backing him (Wimal, Vasudeva, Dinesh) are from trishaw parties, ie, small parties where the entire membership could fit in a trishaw.
However, at the same time, it’s not clear that De Silva is up for the job. Aside from making noise about electoral reform, he hasn’t been much of an Opposition Leader (his nominal post). One thing people don’t seem to discuss is that he would be Prime Minister if the SLFP wins a general election, which isn’t entirely improbable. I suppose they don’t discuss it because he’s not an especially compelling candidate. But who else?
Given the choices on hand – race-baiting Mahinda, arrogant Ranil and snoozy Nimal – I guess I prefer Ranil. He’s awful, but perhaps the least awful one out there. Which is kinda sad. Hopefully this new generation of politicians with a lesser casualty rate will be better, but for now this is the lot we have. I guess we need to pick the best of a bad one.