UNP MPs submit a document with 55 signatures to PM

UNP MPs submit a document with 55 signatures to PM

Written by Staff Writer

19 Aug, 2019 | 9:14 pm

COLOMBO (News 1st) – A document containing the signatures of 55 MPs of the United National Party, has been handed over to Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, urging the party’s working committee and parliamentary group to convene a meeting to take a decision regarding its presidential candidate within the coming week.

The document was handed over to the Prime Minister during the UNP group meeting convened this evening (August 19). The MPs discussions at the group meeting did not focus on the party’s presidential candidate or the proposed alliance.

Sujeewa Senasinghe, Non-Cabinet Minister of Science, Technology and Research noted that nearly 55 MPs signed a document, urging that a meeting be convened within seven days to make a final decision regarding the party’s presidential candidate.

However, he noted that it was not discussed during the group meeting and the prime minister, Minister Kabir Hashim and Minister Ranjith Madduma Bandara had shared that this matter should be discussed and solved.

UNP MP, Wijayapala Hettiarachchi confirmed that during the meeting the presidential candidate was not discussed and parliamentary activities were the key focus in the meeting and the Minister Sajith Premadasa was present at the meeting.

Mujibur Rahuman, also confirmed that they did not discuss the presidential candidate at the meeting.

Ranil Wickremesinghe was appointed as the Prime Minister of the country after the demise of President Ranasinghe Premadasa in 1993.

The Presidential candidate of the UNP in 1994 was Gamini Dissanayake.

After his demise, Ranil Wickremesinghe evaded contesting the presidential poll while being next in line and this resulted in the party losing that election as well.

With imminent defeat in sight during the run-up to the 1999 presidential election, Ranil Wickremesinghe who suggested he can run a successful campaign for the election lost the polls by over 700,000 votes.

The United National Party only secured 89 seats at the general election in the year 2000 in yet another loss suffered by the party that held 94 seats in the previous parliament.

With the tactful response of the seniors of the UNP, the country held another general election in 2001 and the United National Party secured only 109 seats at the polls. The UNP did not secure a majority in paliament.

However, the UNP formed a government with the support of a number of other parties. The life of that government was limited to 2 years.

The UNP suffered yet another damaging blow with the number of UNP seats in parliament reducing to 82 at the general election in 2004. Ranil Wickremesinghe who subsequently contested the presidential polls in 2005 continued his losing streak.

In 2010 for the first time in history, the United National Party did not field a candidate for the Presidential election but instead supported Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka as the common candidate.

The UNP only managed to win 60 seats in parliament at the 2010 general election out of which 10 MPs crossed over and left the UNP.

The party seniors of the UNP searched hard and long for a way to bring the UNP back on a winning track at the 2015 Presidential election.

Again with imminent defeat on the horizon, Ranil Wickremesinghe rose to power riding the wave of victory of Maithripala Sirisena at the 2015 Presidential elections. He did not command the confidence of a majority in parliament.

Ranil Wickremesinghe failed again to secure the 6.2 million votes won at the Presidential election and as a result, did not secure a majority in parliament again.

If not for the support of the President the UNP’s campaign at the 2015 general election would have ended in defeat.

Although the UNP contested the local government polls together with a number of other parties they were only able to secure 32.61% of votes.

Ranil Wickremesinghe in his tenure as leader of the United national Party during the past 25 years had lost a total of 29 elections including 3 presidential elections.

Can the United National Party and the UNP supporters continue to suffer at the hands of this losing streak?


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