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Ranil forced to ‘democratize’ proposed alliance constitution in major showdown

ECONOMYNEXT – Members of Sri Lanka’s United National Party is to submit amendments to a draft constitution to govern a proposed broad alliance after thwarting an attempt by its leader Ranil Wickremesinghe tried to push through ‘undemocratic’ document, political sources said.

Wickremesinghe had attempted to pass the draft document at a meeting of the UNP working committee but had faced stiff opposition.

Several senior UNPers had demanded that the proposed constitution be circulated for study before approving.

According to the document anything the constitution did not address was to be decided by a ‘leadership council’ of the alliance where there was only a single representative of the UNP in the form of its leader.

He will have a 50 percent vote. Other smaller parties will have one vote.

Wickremesinghe had demanded a vote on the document.

Several members had objected saying there was no need for a vote, since there was no opposition to an alliance, and they only wanted changes to democratize the constitution.

There had been calls to democratize the constitution of the United National Party.

In a show of hands only about 20 had raised their hands including 12 members of parliament, political sources said. As a result the meeting had concluded with amendments to be suggested today.

Many members of the parliamentary group are backing Sajith Premadasa to be their candidate, according to political sources.





Meanwhile President Maithripala Sirisena’s UNPA/Sri Lanka Freedom Party group officials say they will make an announcement in early September.

Mahinda Rajapaksa’s Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna is also yet to name a candidate though supporters of his brother Gothabaya is making a strong bid for candidature.

Several documents showing that he has renounced his US nationality is circulating in the public domain. (Colombo/Aug01/2019)

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