Ministers and members of the United National Party expressed their views to the media regarding the party’s delay in announcing the presidential candidate.
General Secretary of UNP, Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam mentioned their intentions to take a decision regarding the candidate by next week. He added that the candidate will be fielded from the United National Party.
Chairman of UNP, Minister Kabir Hashim mentioned that they would take a final decision following their party discussions scheduled to take place today (September 19) and tomorrow adding that they would have an update by Friday of this week. He highlighted that Sajith Premadasa is at the top in their list among the several members of their party who have requested for nominations. He further added that the party will take the right decision.
Minister Kabir Hashim expressed that the issue of the party candidate would be solved through discussions. He further added that their first preference is to reach a consensus to refrain from the party dividing for they are an independent and democratic political party.
Journalists highlighted that the UNP is divided on meeting Minister of Megapolis and Western Development, Patali Champika Ranawaka.
The Minister denied the claims brought forward by the journalists as he said: “there is no division”. He added that they would ensure the right candidate is put forward at the right time. “The candidate must be presented on the 7th of October. We will field our candidate, present our group and the agenda by then”, he continued.
Journalists asked the Minister if their candidate is Minister Sajith Premadasa to which he replied that anyone is allowed to contest by obtaining the approval of a majority of the Parliamentary group as it is ” democracy”.