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Prematurely naming candidate could create problems in UNP-led alliance – Wijepala

United National Party (UNP) MP Wijepala Hettiarachchi said that naming the party’s presidential candidate before forming the proposed broader alliance could complicate matters.

Addressing the media at Temple Trees this morning (23), the backbencher MP said that if the leaders of the other parties in the proposed Democratic National Front (DNF) object to the candidate nominated by UNP, problems may arise.

“Let’s assume that Person ‘A’ is nominated as the UNP’s candidate and then we try to form an alliance. If the leaders of the alliance say that they want either Person ‘B’ or ‘C’ as candidate who will be inconvenienced? We cannot change it like that. Therefore, the most appropriate thing do to is to discuss with the others in the alliance and nominate a candidate with everyone’s consent,” the MP said.

Asked to comment on Minister Champika Ranawaka’s recent statement that coalition parties may have to find other alternatives if the presidential candidate is not named soon, Hettiarachchi conceded that there is a problem in that regard.

“I acknowledge that there is a problem, but the majority wants to sign the memorandum of understanding (MOU). [Ranawaka] was also going to sign the MOU on 5 August. He may have mentioned alternatives, but he is of the position that an alliance should be formed,” the MP added.

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