UNP To Make Common Candidate Decision On Friday: Ranil- Karu- Maithripala Front-runners

The United National party is to make a final decision on its presidential candidate on Friday, at a crucial working committee meeting, a senior spokesman of the party told Asian Mirror on Friday morning.

UNP Leader Ranil Wcickremesinghe, who is now back in the country after a brief foreign trip, has instructed General Secretary Tissa Attanayake to convene the Working Committee on Friday.

Three names have already been proposed as potential presidential candidates of the party. They are UNP National Leader Ranil Wickemesinghe, Leadership Council Chairman Karu Jayasuriya and SLFP General Secretary and Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena.

The UNP is considering Minister Sirisena as a front-runner under the assumption that he might cross over to the opposition at the last moment. However, the Minister is still with the government and his possible crossover still hands in the balance, highly placed political sources said. Even yesterday, the Minister was seen at Temple Trees, sharing light moments with President Mahinda Rajapaksa and several other senior members of the ruling party.

Therefore, it is still not entirely clear whether the General Secretary of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party will make a decision that will be a huge political gamble.  

Meanwhile, the majority of the Parliamentary group of the party are of the view that Karu Jayasuriya should be named as a presidential candidate of the party. When ‘Asian Mirror’ spoke to Jayasuriya yesterday evening, the senior Parliamentarian said he was not aware of any move to name him as the presidential candidate of the main opposition party.

 

Former President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga whose name was earlier mentioned as a potential common candidate of the opposition is now out of the race due to legal barriers. CBK’s legal impediments arose with the opinion given by the Supreme Court pertaining to the third term of President Mahinda Rajapaksa- which was not made public by the government. 

© 2017 Asian Mirror (pvt) Ltd