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UNP vs UNP: Will Sajith’s new party also be UNP?

ECONOMYNEXT – The Elections Commission has recognized Opposition Leader Sajith Premadasa as the President of a political party called Samagi Balavegaya in Sinhala which can be translated into English as United Force, the Director-General of the Elections Commission Saman Sri Ratnayake told EconomyNext.

The party, which was formerly known as Ape Jathika Peramuna applied to change its name to the current one on February 2. The Commission approved the name change on February 6.

MP Ranjit Madduma Bandara is this party’s General Secretary, the Commission said.

A Media spokesman for the Opposition Leader’s office said this would be the name of the alliance that Premadasa will lead at the Parliamentary General election slated for April.

Meanwhile, the United National Party wrote to the Elections Commission on Tuesday calling on the Commissioners not to recognize this party as the English translation of Samagi Balavegaya is United National Power, very close to its own name.

The letter signed by the UNP’s Legal Secretary Nissanka Nanayakkara said that the party objects to this attempt to grab its identity.

Premadasa has already been appointed as the Prime Ministerial Candidate and Leader of the UNP-led Alliance to contest the upcoming Parliamentary General Election. Madduma Bandara has been ratified as its Secretary. (Colombo, February 11, 2020

-Arjuna Ranawana

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