Sajith calls for vote to decide UNP candidacy for Sri Lanka poll

ECONOMYNEXT – United National Party Deputy Leader Sajith Premadasa has called for an immediate meeting of the party’s working committee and parliamentary group amid reports that current speaker Karu Jayasuriya may also come forward as a candidate.

He said a letter had been sent to party leader Ranil Wickremesinghe asking for a meeting of the parliamentary group and working committee.

“If there are more candidates we have to use a democratic process,” Premadasa told an early morning media briefing.

“If we cannot reach a consensus during discussions the most democratic process is to have a vote.”

“We need an immediate meeting to make a quick decision.”

Alliance partners of the broader United National Front has asked the UNP to resolve its candidacy issue.

Mangala Samaraweera, a backer of Premadasa insisted that there was no crisis in the part and said democratic processes were at work and decisions are being made openly.

Premadasa sidestepped a question on his actions if he lost a vote, saying he was confident on getting the candidacy, saying he had party support.

Patali Ranawaka, a member of the broader United National Front has asked for a vote of all constituent parties of the front to decide the candidacy.

An influential civil society group has reportedly favours Jayasuriya. It is also not clear whether he has the full backing of other leaders of the UNF alliance, including Arjuna Ranatunga and Rajitha Senaratne.

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Premadasa said if there are any difference they can be resolved through discussions.

The opposition Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna has already selected Gotabhaya Rajapaksa as candidate and campaigning has begun. (Colombo/Sept17/2019)