Written by Staff Writer
17 Sep, 2019 | 3:18 pm
Colombo (News 1st): UNP Deputy Leader and Minister Sajith Premadasa convened a media briefing in Colombo this morning (September 17). The briefing at Minister Mangala Samaraweera’s residence was attended by Ministers Chandrani Bandara, Malik Samarawickrama, Kabir Hashim and Ranjith Madduma Bandara.
Speaking at the media briefing he said:
“So if I may basically summarize the content of my letter. I expressed my intentions to come forward and if there are contrary opinions and various other interested people who are keen on becoming the candidate to follow the democratic procedure within the party to go ahead and make the selection. In other words, I requested that there be an immediate meeting of both the parliamentary group and the working committee. So if I may explain to you the meeting of both groups there can be a consensus building meeting. So if we arrive at consensus there is no necessity to do anything else or to resort to any other procedure. All I’m saying is let there be a frank and transparent discussion within the working committee and the parliamentary group and all of us will be able to ascertain the various opinions among the members of the working committee and the parliamentary group and if there is the consensus so be it. But if there is a diversity of opinions then you can adopt the greatest democratic principle and model that is to have a democratic vote secret ballot. I am actually reflecting the aspirations of the people as a whole there have been a large number of common men and women who have requested me to come forward. So I am gracious enough to admit that if there are candidates, more candidates who are keen on coming forward. So I cannot have my own I must explain to you this is not a political monopoly or a political oligarchy and there is no autocracy or dictatorship within our party. I am actually reflecting the aspirations of the people as a whole there have been a large number of common men and women who have requested me to come forward. So I am gracious enough to admit that if there are candidates, more candidates who are keen on coming forward. So I cannot have my own I must explain to you this is not a political monopoly or a political oligarchy and there is no autocracy or dictatorship within our party.”
He noted that he had not yet received a response to the letter he submitted to the Prime Minister. When questioned if the ongoing crisis would be an advantage to other parties, Minister Mangala Samaraweera requested the journalists not to use the crisis. He noted that the United National Party, as a democratic party has paved the way for anyone in the party to express their desire to become the Presidential Candidate.
He added that in the United States, around 10 candidates have stepped up from the Democratic Party alone for the Presidential Election next year and recently, British Prime Minister Theresa May stepped down and around a dozen candidates came forward. He said this is not a crisis but in fact, it is the strength of a democratic party. The Minister went onto note that it has been officially communicated Sajith Premadasa would be coming forward to contest and if there is anyone else who wishes to contest, they can announce their aspiration and the matter can be solved democratically. “
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