Legal experts have pointed out that if there are provisions on the Party constitution and if there is a genuine need, there is no impediment on former Speaker Karu Jayasuriya laying claim to the party leadership, a release from Jayasuriya’s office said.
It added that he was made a life member of the Party in 2000 and after quitting as Chairman of the Constitutional Council (CC), he had again applied for annual membership of the Party and had obtained the Party membership for 2020.
“After the defeat suffered by the UNP at the last General Election, its incumbent Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe had clearly stated that he intended to resign from the Party Leadership. Later, many urged Jayasuriya to lead the campaign to revive the Party after its political debacle at the 5 August Poll. Having decided not to desert the Party at this critical juncture of the Party’s history, Jayasuriya informed Wickremesinghe of his aim to resuscitate the Party and lead it for the foreseeable future. Furthermore, the decision to helm the Party had been taken by Jayasuriya with the majority consent of Party activists and all progressive forces connected to the Party. However, after Jayasuriya announced his stance, several baseless fabrications and claims have begun to emerge about Jayasuriya in the local Media,” the release added
‘One claim is that Wickremesinghe had proposed to conduct a disciplinary inquiry against Jayasuriya on allegations of the latter supporting the Samagi Jana Balawegaya candidature of Eranda Weliange who contested the last General Election. However, the proposed inquiry against Jayasuriya had been halted after it had come to light that the latter had not campaigned on behalf of Weliange. The other claim is that during the UNP Working Committee meeting held on 25 August, another baseless and unfounded claim had been made concerning Jayasuriya.
“The first of such unsubstantiated claim is that Jayasuriya has no legal rights to aspire to the UNP Leadership due to him not being a member of the UNP Working Committee. However, legal experts had pointed out that if there are provisions the Party constitution and if there is a genuine need, there is no impediment for Jayasuriya to lay claim to the Party Leadership.
The second allegation is that Jayasuriya is not a member of the UNP. This is also a claim that has been made sans an iota of knowledge about the constitution of the UNP. Jayasuriya and Wickremesinghe had obtained the lifetime membership of the Party in 2000. Furthermore, after leaving the position of the Head of the CC, Jayasuriya had again applied for the annual membership of the Party and he had obtained the Party membership for 2020,” the statement further read.
(Source: Ceylon Today)