Sajith Premadasa expected to take over UNP leadership

[TamilNet, Monday, 26 April 2010, 15:54 GMT]
The main opposition United National Party (UNP) is in the process of electing a new leadership to take the party forward from the present plight after facing defeats in every election held in the island since the UNP government was dismissed by the then SL president Chandrika Kumaratunga in 2004. 42-year-old Sajith Premadasa, the son of former president Ranasinghe Premadasa, is expected to take over the leadership of the UNP, political sources said quoting Gayantha Karunatilake, Galle district UNP parliamentarian.

Mr. Karunatilake has said that the UNP working committee which is scheduled to meet this week would decide on key changes in the party leadership.

Soon after the defeat of UNP at the last general election Rukman Senanayake had called for the removal of Ranil Wickremesinghe from the posts of opposition leader and UNP leader. Mr. Senanayake last week resigned from all positions held by him in the UNP after the party failed to nominate him through the National List to parliament.

Senanayake blames Wickremesinghe for gradually pushing the party down the drain since 1994.

He further said that the UNP will never win an election until Wickremesinghe remains its leader, failing to groom a future leadership.

The UNP has failed to win any of the elections held since 2001 even at provincial level.

Rukman Senanayake has been backing Sajith Premadasa for the post of UNP leader.

Sajith Premadasa has been elected a parliamentarian from the Hambantota in the southern province since 1994 on the UNP ticket.

In the last general election too he was elected from the Hambantota district with highest preferential votes in the UNP ticket amid tough opposition from the ruling United Peoples Freedom Alliance (UPFA) led by the Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa.


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