Ranil Nods For Common Candidate: Karu Likely To Contest!

In a major turn of events, UNP National Leader Ranil Wickremesnghe has agreed to make way for a common candidate fielded by the UNP at the forthcoming presidential election.

At a special discussion yesterday which was attended by front-liners of the party, Wickremesinghe, who earlier positioned himself as the presidential candidate of the UNP, has given his consent to field a common candidate at the election, highly placed party sources of the party told Asian Mirror.

Many parties, including the Jathika Hela Urumaya and the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna, have already claimed that Wickremeisnghe cannot be expected as a common candidate of the opposition.

Two names have already been proposed by the rank and file of the party as potential common candidates for the UNP.  They are, according to party sources, Hambanthota District UNP Parliamentarian Sajith Premadasa and UNP Leadership Council Chairman Karu Jayasuriya.

However, Premadasa has already told the party that he is not ready to become the presidential candidate of the party unless he is given the party leadership. Therefore, Premadasa, who was recently appointed as the Deputy Leader of the party, is likely to distance himself from the electoral race.

It was also reported that Premadasa was strongly against contesting under a common sysmbol and a common colour at the presidential election.

A senior parliamentarian of the UNP told Asian Mirror today that the party’s Leadership Council Chairman, Karu Jayasuriya, holds an edge over the others as the potential candidate of the opposition. He said that nearly two thirds of the parliamentary group of the party is of the view that Jayasuriya should be fielded as the presidential candidate of the UNP.

However, it is still not clear whether Wickremesinghe will give the green light to Jayasuriya’s candidacy to the Executive Presidency. According to internal sources of the party, the only obstacle standing in Jayasuriya's way is his decision to joinn the government in 2007 along with 17 other Parliamentarians of the United National party. 

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