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UNP crisis: Crucial Working Committee meeting today

ECONOMYNEXT – There were negotiations this morning between the two sides in the deeply divided United National Party (UNP) as it struggles to construct a viable campaign to challenge the rampant Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) at a general election slated to be held at the end of April.

The top decision-making body of the UNP the Working Committee is due to meet at 4pm today Monday to take several crucial decisions.

The first will be to ratify the appointment of MP Ranjit Madduma Bandara as the General Secretary of the UNP –led alliance which will lead the charge against a confident SLPP which beat the UNP by more than a million votes in November’s Presidential Elections.

The second would be to choose the symbol and registered name of an alliance to fight the poll.

This morning representatives of the Ranil Wickremesinghe faction of the party met with the Sajith Premadasa faction to sort out differences before the afternoon meeting.

 Among matters they discussed were who should be invited for the WC meeting. When the Committee was called last week a number of regular members seen to be opposed to Wickremesinghe were not invited.

A senior party source told EconomyNext that “informal invitations have been extended to four members who were disinvited the last time the WC met.” However, these members had indicated that they would attend only if the proper invitation was sent.

The Party has agreed that Opposition Leader Premadasa would be the Prime Ministerial candidate and he would lead the campaign.

Premadasa will also be the Chair of the Nomination Board which will select the candidates.

A resounding defeat for the UNP would spell disaster for the Grand Old Party which is in danger of breaking up over Wickremesinghe’s insistence of remaining the party leader. (Colombo, February 10, 2020)

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-Arjuna Ranawana

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