The two SLMC members were appointed through the UNP national list. However, they are likely to be replaces in the near future, either by two members of the party High Command or two defeated candidates, local media reports said.
Political sources told Asian Mirror that the two appointees are staunch loyalists of party leader Rauff Hakeem and that they will resign if asked by the party leadership. They were named through the national list since they will resign as per the request of the party leadership at any given moment, one source alleged.
The UNP said earlier that it will not appoint defeated candidates through the national list. However, the UNP national list included one defeated candidate, MHM Navavi. He belonged to the All Ceylon Makkal Congress led by Rishad Bathiudeen.
Bathiudeen explained that the UNP did not appoint defeated candidates among its party members. However, UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe allowed the constituent members of the United National Front to decide on their appointments to the national list, Bathiudeen said. Therefore, once it was known that the ACMC will be allowed to name one national list MP through the UNP list, the party was free to decide on its own as to who should be appointed, he added.