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Last updated: 18 November, 2005 - Published 18:17 GMT
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Jayaratne claims premiership
Anura Bandaranaike (second Left) with newly elected President Rajapakse
SLFP leaders say Bandaranaike wished Rajapakse be defeated
DM Jayaratne, Minister of Post and Telecommunications, has claimed that he is the most suitable candidate to be the next prime minister of Sri Lanka.

As the most senior Senior Vice President of Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP), he said, many friends and supporters are urging him to claim the post to be vacant on Saturday when PM Mahinda Rajapkse takes oaths as Sri Lanka’s fifth president.

Jayaratne told BBC Sandeshaya that the party would, however, have to revise an earlier decision to appoint Foreign Minister Anura Bandaranaike as the prime minister, if Rajapakse elected president.

Trade minister Jeyaraj Fernandopullai said that many senior party members oppose appointing President Chandrika Kumaratunga’s brother as the country’s next prime minister.

“Anura Bandaranaike did not work for Rajapakse’s victory. He wished Rajapakse be defeated in Thurday’s polls,” he told

Senior SLFP sources told the BBC that Rajapakse’s campaign manager Mangala Samaraweera is not considered as a contender for Sri Lanka's head of parliament.

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