UNP elects Ruwan Wijewardene Deputy Leader – due to replace Ranil next year
ECONOMYNEXT – Former State Minister for Defense Ruwan Wijewardene has been elected the Deputy Leader of the United National Party secret ballot at a meeting of the Party Working Committee today the party announced.
He will now take over as the Party Leader from his cousin former Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe in January next year.
Wijewardene was anointed as the future leader a few weeks ago.
Former Minister and Assistant Leader of the Party Ravi Karunanayake also contested and Wijewardene won by obtaining 28 votes to 10.
The Party’s Legal Secretary Nissanka Nanayakkara said last week that the party will first fill the vacant Deputy Leader position and have that person step into the Leader’s position on January 1, 2021.
The Deputy Leader post is vacant because Sajith Premadasa, now Leader of the Opposition in Parliament, broke away from the UNP and formed the Samagi Jana Balavegaya (SJB).
The breakup of the UNP shortly before the elections ended up with the Grand Old Party suffering the biggest electoral defeat in its storied history.
It failed to win a single seat electorally and gained just the one seat on the National List. (September 14, 2020)
Reported by Arjuna Ranawana