"No cross-over from UNP to UPFA" - Ranil

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 21 April 2004, 15:39 GMT]
Mr.Ranil Wickremasinghe, former Prime Minister and the leader of the United National Party (UNP) Wednesday dismissed media reports that few parliamentarians of the main opposition United National Front (UNF) are to cross over to the ruling United Peoples Freedom Alliance (UPFA) as baseless and untrue.

The UNP is the major constituent of the UNF. Ceylon Workers Congress (CWC), Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) and Upcountry Peoples Front (UPF) are the other constituent parties of the UNF, sources said.

Addressing the parliamentary group of the UNF Wednesday Mr. Wickremasinghe said there was no dissension in the UNP. " All parliamentarians are united under my leadership and have been working for the victory of our candidate in the election of Speaker," he said. Mr. Wickremasinghe is expected to hold the post of Opposition Leader in the new parliament, sources said.

Speculation was rife in Colombo political circles Wednesday following news reports in a section of the media that the President, Ms. Chandrika Kumaratunge, has been reportedly holding secret talks with a former UNP minister and with a few newly elected UNP parliamentarians.

These news reports further speculated that it was possible the selected UNF parliamentarians were either planning to cross over to the UPFA or being groomed as a go-between in a move to form a coalition government if the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP), a major constituent of the UPFA, failed to resolve the dispute over the sharing of ministerial portfolios.

 

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