Monday, 05 August 2019 - 15:48


A special group of UNP Parliament members will meet this afternoon to discuss the current concerns within the United National Party regarding the formation of the new Alliance.

The discussion is scheduled to commence at 4 pm at Temple trees.

The focus will be on the constitution of the new alliance - the Democratic National Front (DNF) which came in for much discussion and diverse opinion at the last working committee meeting.

A special working committee meeting of the United National Party was held at the Temple Trees on Thursday under the patronage of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.

There were conflicts over the power of the UNP in the UPFA constitution, its leadership and the Presidential candidate.

Subsequently, the leaders of both the UNP and the DNF met on several occasions and discussed the crisis that had risen.

No agreements were reached by the end of the week and it was decided to postpone the signing of the new alliance agreement indefinitely which was previously scheduled to be signed today.

Meanwhile, several backbenchers of the UNP had met with party leader Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe last night.

Internal sources of the party said that the crisis has been discussed at length.

The Sri Lanka Muslim Congress led by Minister Rauff Hakeem, the All Ceylon Makkal Congress Party led by Minister Rishad Bathiudeen, Mano Ganeshan and Palani Digambaram representing the Tamil Progressive Alliance have informed the UNP that it is advisable to sign off  the agreement after the internal crisis was resolved.

Speaking to the media after a function in Kandy yesterday, SLMC Leader Minister Rauf Hakeem said that no final decision has been taken so far regarding the support to the Presidential candidate.  Tamil National Alliance leader R. Sambandan said that they will consider the election manifesto principles declared by the candidates before deciding on the candidate they are going to support.  He was speaking to media after the party's central committee meeting held in Trincomalee yesterday.

“we have 14 parliamentarians representing our party. We have not neglected the responsibility of working for the North. If something happens that makes our people uncomfortable, we will block it. That was the case in the past and we hope to do the same again. Some parties are unable to make a decision regarding the presidential nominee. We don't need to intervene. When the parties make a  decision and decide on their candidate, we will make a decision once the parties and the candidates have stated their policies”.

JVP Leader Parliamentarian Anura Kumara Dissanayake said that there is a power struggle within the main political parties regarding presidential candidacy.

Meanwhile, United People's Freedom Alliance (UPFA) parliamentarian Wimal Weerawansa said at a function in Kaduwela yesterday that there could be a conspiracy to prevent the presidential election from taking place at the last minute.

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