Ranil faction agrees to name Sajith as Presidential candidate

Sajith Premadasa

Trying to reach a consensus on the existing UNP Presidential candidate conundrum, conditions have been laid down by Ranil Wickremesinghe’s faction, who have agreed to name Deputy UNP Leader, Sajith Premadasa as the Presidential candidate, internal sources said. However, the Premadasa faction has still to respond.

It is reported that these conditions include keeping to the Party leadership, naming Wickremesinghe as the Prime Ministerial candidate and offering the General Secretary post of the proposed Democratic National Front (DNF) to a Leader of the UNP. In addition, Wickremesinghe’s name has been proposed as the Chairman of the DNF.

Meanwhile, the UNP leadership was to meet on 17 August at Minister Rajitha Senaratna’s residence to decide on the Presidential candidate.

A senior member of the UNP who is to participate in the meeting said though Party leaders agreed to certain amendments to the DNF but did not agree to others including handing over of the General Secretary post. He further added that the final decision on the DNF constitution, the date when it will be formed and the Presidential candidate will be named shortly.

Meanwhile, UNP Parliamentarian Wijepala Hettiarachchi said Wickremesinghe should be the Prime Ministerial candidate if Premadasa is named as the Presidential candidate.

He further added that the majority were agreeable to the proposal which will be presented at the Parliamentary group meeting to be held soon.

(Source: Ceylon Today – By W.K. Prasad Manju)