Mahinda Rajapaksa ran a family centred dictatorship: Kumaratunga

Mahinda Rajapaksa's plans to stage a political comeback suffered a setback on Wednesday when Sri Lanka's former president Chandrika Kumaratunga alleged that he ran "a family centred dictatorship" during his rule and appealed to voters to preserve the gains made in the January 8 polls.

PTI| Updated: Aug 05, 2015, 21:35 PM IST

Colombo: Mahinda Rajapaksa's plans to stage a political comeback suffered a setback on Wednesday when Sri Lanka's former president Chandrika Kumaratunga alleged that he ran "a family centred dictatorship" during his rule and appealed to voters to preserve the gains made in the January 8 polls.

"Rajapaksa ruined the party's long held values by running a family centred dictatorship as the president of the country," Kumaratunga said today in a statement.

She further alleged that Rajapaksa abused all state resources to win the January 8 election, as he was keen to continue with his crony rule.

Rajapaksa, 69, was unexpectedly defeated by his own deputy Maithripala Sirisena in snap presidential polls in January.

Calling the poll victory "a new era of good governance", Kumaratunga, who handed over Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) leadership to Rajapaksa in 2005, appealed to voters to "preserve" the substantial gains made during the January poll victory.

Having elected President, Rajapaksa had removed Kumaratunga from her patron's role in the party.

Kumaratunga had joined the then opposition coalition backing Sirisena to defeat Rajapaksa in January.

However, she was not able to prevent Sirisena from giving party ticket to Rajapaksa for contesting the August 17 election.

Rajapaksa, who was the president twice since 2005 and is credited for ending country's three-decade-old civil-war with LTTE, has taken the unprecedented step of running for Parliament after enjoying two terms as president.

Before Rajapaksa, none of his predecessors had stood for parliament polls after demitting the presidency.