COLOMBO, Aug. 3 (Xinhua) -- Sri Lanka's main Tamil party, the Tamil National Alliance (TNA), said on Monday that it would not join a united government in the future, if the government in power fails to address the grievances of the Tamils in the island nation.
The party, which holds 14 seats in the 225-member parliament, said it hopes to win at least 20 seats in the parliamentary elections on Aug. 17.
The battle to form a new government will be waged between two political parties, the newly formed United National Front (UNF) coalition, led by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and the United People's Freedom Alliance (UPFA) whose chairman is President Maithripala Sirisena.
Both Wickremesinghe and Sirisena have pledged to form a united government with the inclusion of all political parties including the minorities if either of them win the August polls.
"We will not join the united government till the Tamil issue is addressed. But if the UNF wins, we will offer our support to them from being outside the government. If Sirisena's UPFA wins, then it is difficult for him to form a united government as Mahinda Rajapakse has clearly stated that he wants a UPFA government," TNA candidate Suresh Premachandran told Xinhua.
Former President Rajapakse, who will be contesting the elections as a UPFA candidate from the northwestern province of Kurunegala, has in his campaigning rejected the idea of forming a united government and maintained that a UPFA victory will lead to the party forming a government.
The opposition remains split with a group of members backing President Sirisena and another group in support of Rajapakse.
UNF Colombo candidate and Prime Minister Wickremesinghe has pledged to form a united government if his party wins the upcoming votes.