UNP Common Candidate will be from Ranil, Karu or Sajith - MP Withana | Daily News


UNP Common Candidate will be from Ranil, Karu or Sajith - MP Withana

Selection thru internal election

State Finance Minister Eran Wickremaratne told the Daily News yesterday that the United National Party Presidential candidate will be selected through an election. Meanwhile, party backbencher parliamentarian Heshan Withana told a news briefing in Parliament yesterday that the Party candidates for the positions of President, Prime Minister and Parliament Speaker would be selected from Ranil Wickremesinghe, Karu Jayasuriya and Sajith Premadasa.

State Finance Minister Wickremaratne said that the Presidential hopeful of the party will be elected through an election among the Working Committee members and the parliamentary group. That decision to select the party’s Presidential candidate to contest the forthcoming Presidential poll would not change under any circumstances. UNP backbencher Hesha Withana yesterday said the candidacies for the positions of the President, the Prime Minister and the Speaker of the House would be filled by senior UNP leaders Ranil Wickremesinghe, Karu Jayasuriya and Sajith Premdasa.

“We do not know who would hold which position, but these three are our most senior leaders suitable for these three positions,” Withana added. If the UNP was considering a Common Candidate, the choice would be made from these three persons.

“There were many rumours of a businessman being made the common candidate. Such rumours are pure fiction. We have learnt a good lesson by importing leaders. We are not going to import leaders anymore. If we choose a Common Candidate, that candidate will be chosen out of the said three,” Withana stated.

Asked about President Maithripala Sirisena’s statement on supporting a young leader from the UNP to run for the Presidency, Withana said that President Sirisena had no say in selecting the

UNP Presidential Candidate. “He cannot influence the UNP’s decision as to who is our next Presidential Candidate. If he wants to support the person we select, he can do that. He even would be able to get some credit doing that,” he said.

MP Withana, commenting on the recent statements made by IGP Pujith Jayasundara and ex-Defence Secretary Hemasiri Fernando before the Parliamentary Select Committee investigating the Easter Sunday terror attacks, questioned as to how some powerful figures in the government continue to stay in their positions.



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