Presidential candidate of proposed alliance to be decided by UNP

Presidential candidate of proposed alliance to be decided by UNP

Written by Staff Writer

17 Aug, 2019 | 7:55 pm

Colombo(News1st) – Several decisive meetings regarding the establishment of the new alliance led by the United National Party, took place at multiple places today (August 17).

Chairman of the UNP, Minister Kabir Hashim recently stated that the leaders of the proposed alliance would meet today, to discuss and arrive at a final decision regarding the alliance and its presidential candidate. Hashim made the following statements regarding the proceedings of the alliance on the 15th of this month.
He stated that they had presented five amendments out which four were found to have no issues. He further mentioned that one amendment had to be discussed once again. He added that the party leaders and the main representatives of the UNP were due to meet this Saturday (August 17) and that they would be able to reach a consensus regarding these amendments during these discussions.

Accordingly, party leaders supporting the UNF, met at the residence of Minister Rajitha Senaratne in Colombo this morning. It was reported that ministers Mangala Samaraweera, Ravi Karunanayaka, Akila Viraj Kariyawasam, and Kabir Hashim participated in the meeting on behalf of the UNP. In addition, political leaders due to join the alliance including Mano Ganeshan and Rauf Hakeem also participated in the meeting. It was reported that the presidential candidacy was discussed in depth during the meeting, while the opinion of a majority of those present, was that the presidential candidate should be decided by the United National Party.

However, the meeting which took place for more than 3 hours, had concluded with no agreement, and all MPs and ministers who participated in the meeting refrained from expressing their views to the media.

These were the views expressed by MPs and ministers of the UNP, regarding the presidential election candidacy.

Minister of Agriculture, P. Harrison stated that the parliamentary group, the working committee as well as all the political parties supporting them, must discuss this matter. He highlighted that Minister Kabir Hashim has requested for a date to hold discussions and therefore he believes that the prime minister would hold a meeting as soon as possible.

Deputy Minister of Development Strategies & International Trade, Nalin Bandara reasoned that it is clear, that a majority of the working committee and parliamentary group wants Minister Sajith Premadasa to be fielded as the presidential candidate. He further stated that he believes this request would be realized soon.

A question was raised regarding claims of the opposition regarding the possibility of UNP dividing if Sajith Premadasa is put forward as the presidential candidate.

In response to this, Nalin Bandara highlighted that the opposition is afraid of Sajith Premadasa being fielded as the presidential candidate, as they will be compelled to remain in the opposition for many years if Sajith Premadasa contests.

President of Gaja Savi Socialist Front Amila Ruwan expressed his views on the most recent UNP meeting.

He mentioned that the members of UNP were expecting to reach a final decision but they did not receive any. He highlighted that Sarath Fonseka has forgotten his past for when he was imprisoned by Mahinda Rajapaksa. It was Sajith Premadasa and Palitha Kumara Thewarapperuma who visited him day and night. “However, today Sarath Fonseka ungratefully points fingers at Sajith Premadasa and his father, the late Ranasinghe Premadasa”, he further added.

General Secretary of Gaja Savi Socialist Front Rajinda Makolage stated that they were aware of the meetings and discussions taking place at houses at night, to control and mitigate the people’s support towards Sajith Premadasa, in order to facilitate their own political agendas. “Instead of taking the UNP forward towards victory, if the UNP tries to ignore the voice of a majority of UNP and take their own decisions, the fall of the UNP is inevitable”, he continued.

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