UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe, yesterday, told a group of senior lawmakers that he would definitely contest the forthcoming 2019 presidential election. Wickremesinghe told the gathering at the Temple Trees that those who didn’t accept that could take a political decision.
Party sources said that among those who had been present were UNP Chairman Kabir Hashim, Leader of the House Lakshman Kiriella, General Secretary of the party Akila Viraj Kariyawasam, Gamini Jayawickrema Perera, John Amaratinga, Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka, Ravi Karunanayake and Daya Gamage.
Sources said that Sajith Premadasa faction had been represented by Kabir Hashim, Ranjith Madduma Bandara and Malik Samarawickrema. At the onset of the meeting, the PM said that he would like to contest the presidential poll as he had the backing of all segments of the party, including the grassroot-level people.
Wickremesinghe said that the proposal in respect of his candidature would be soon made to the Working Committee. The meeting concluded after they agreed on one-on-one between Wickremesinghe and Premadasa on Sunday (8)
Wickremesinghe declared his intention to contest in the wake of Premadasa faction staging three rallies in Badulla, Matara and Kurunegala to pressure the UNP leader to accept the Deputy Leader’s candidature.
(Source: The Island – By Akitha Perera)