UNP leadership conundrum far from resolved

Ajith P Perera

Most of the UNP MPs believe that Ranil Wickremesinghe should quit the party leadership, MP Ajith P. Perera told the media, yesterday. He was commenting on the fact that 52 UNP MPs had supported the appointment of MP Sajith Premadasa as the UNP leader, on Thursday.

The party MPs met on Thursday to discuss the leadership issue, at Siri Kotha. When an informal vote was taken 52 MPs including Sajith present had voted in favour of appointing Premadasa, Perera said.

UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe and 13 other MPs had left the meeting a short while earlier.

“A few people think that Ranil should continue to be the leader. They also seem to think that Ranil’s demise will mark the end of the UNP. But most of us don’t think so. We think Sajith should lead the way.”

Perera said that besides Premadasa there were a number of MPs who could play a vital role in the revitalisation of the party. “We urge Ranil to leave and let a new leader take over the party.”

Earlier, those loyal to Wickremesinghe wanted a leadership council, comprising Wickremesinghe, Premadasa and Speaker, Karu Jayasuriya to lead the party. However Premadasa and his followers opposed the proposal.

(Source: The Island)