Tuesday, 26 November 2019 06:15

RW tells party seniors he will not remain UNP Leader for long

United National Party (UNP) Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe has hinted that he will shortly step down as the party’s leader, a post he has held for close to 25 years.

UNP General Secretary Akila Viraj Kariyawasam said yesterday that Wickremesinghe had informed party seniors that he did not intend to hold onto the leadership but would ensure that the party remained united.

“The UNP Leader told party seniors that there would be no room for the formation of a new political party and that he would not remain in the leadership for long. He had also stressed that the unity of the party was paramount and must be preserved and he would work towards this objective,” Kariyawasam told reporters at a press briefing yesterday.

Kariyawasam added that the decision on who should be the leader of the Opposition would be decided in consultation with MP Sajith Premadasa, who was the party’s Deputy Leader until he recently resigned from the post.

Kariyawasam said he had performed his responsibility as the General Secretary of the UNP by naming Wickremesinghe the Opposition Leader in a letter he wrote to the Speaker of Parliament Karu Jayasuriya last week.

“I did this as one cannot keep the post vacant for long. It is possible for the parliamentary group and the Working Committee to discuss the matter and resolve it,” he said.

Both Wickremesinghe and Premadasa are vying for the Opposition Leader post after the UNP quit the Government following the Presidential Election.

Kariyawasam added that one could not point fingers at individuals for the election defeat as everyone played a role in the campaign.

(FT)

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