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UNP will have its own candidate: Eran


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  • Dismisses rumours over Dhammika Perera as a common candidate
  • Says as a responsible political party, UNP will not decide Presidential candidate over dinner
  • Insists responsibility of selection lies with UNP Working Committee and Parliamentarians 

 

State Finance Minister Eran Wickramaratne yesterday confirmed that United National Party (UNP) will nominate its own candidate for the Presidential Elections scheduled in the latter part of this year.

Dismissing news reports that are circulating, particularly on social media, he said that UNP as a responsible political party will not decide its Presidential candidate over dinner.

“UNP will put its own candidate. Don’t get distracted by all the rumours. The candidate will be selected by the UNP Working Committee and its Members of Parliament,” Wickramaratne told journalists, on the sidelines of a meeting with the business community organised by the National Chamber of Commerce of Sri Lanka (NCCSL). 

Early this week, there were reports that Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe had invited business tycoon Dhammika Perera to be the common candidate of the UNP-led coalition, and that Dhammika Perera gave Prime Minister a positive response.

However, Wickramaratne said that the name of the UNP candidate will soon be announced.

When asked if it was possible for President Maithripala Sirisena to extend his term in office, the State Finance Minister said it was impossible as it is stated in the Constitution.

“President cannot postpone elections. Elections will be held on time, and we should all fight for good governance,” Wickramaratne stressed.

Election Commission Chairman Mahinda Deshapriya early this week said the next Presidential Election will be held on a day between 15 November and 7 December, and the nominations for the poll will have to be called on or before 20 October 2019. He also said that unless there is a legal impediment to holding the poll on the due day, the election will be held on schedule.

 

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