ECONOMYNEXT – Former Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has declined a unanimous request from the United National Party (UNP) working committee to take up the party’s national list seat in parliament, a spokesman said.
The Media spokesman for the UNP leader told EconomyNext that Wickremesinghe had told the working committee that a younger member should take up the one seat the party is entitled to.
However, UNP Chairman Vajira Abeywardena told reporters in Galle yesterday that the party leader will be representing the UNP in parliament in about two months.
“The UNP has taken a unanimous decision that the seat should be taken up by Mr Ranil Wickremesinghe. There is no debate over it. Even people bearing different political opinions to us say that he should be the one to represent the party in parliament,” he said.
Another source close to the UNP leadership told EconomyNext that Wickremesinghe is of the position that, since he was defeated at the polls, he ought not to enter parliament through the national list.
The UNP suffered the party’s worst defeat in its history at the August 2020 parliamentary elections, failing to secure even a single seat barring the one national list seat allotted to the grand old party.
The breakaway of the faction led by then UNP deputy leader Sajith Premadasa contributed significantly to the party’s spectacular defeat. (Colombo/Apr15/2021)