Sajith to be Leader of the Opposition
The United National Party has decided to nominate Sajith Premadasa as the Leader of the Opposition in Parliament and a letter to that effect will be delivered to Speaker Karu Jayasuriya shortly.
Senior UNP members told RepublicNext that Party Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe “has agreed to appoint Sajith.” Wickremesinghe will stay on as Party Leader, these sources said.
UNP Working Committee members are expected to endorse a decision taken by the Parliamentary Group earlier today to nominate Premadasa.
A well-placed source at the Speaker Karu Jayasuriya’s office said the Speaker has been informed but no letter has arrived yet. It is Parliamentary tradition that the Secretary-General of the Party that commands the majority in the Opposition writes to the Speaker nominating the Leader.
The Leader of the Opposition position brings with it the perks of a regular cabinet minister as well as an official residence, office and vehicle.
Premadasa who won a bruising battle against Wickremesinghe to be the United National Front candidate at the recently concluded Presidential elections will now have his eyes on the Party leader position.
With Parliamentary General Elections expected to be held in five months time, Premadasa will have to now put the thumping defeat he suffered at the hands of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa to lead his party at the hustings.