Health Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne
- UNP leader will chair DNF leadership council
- Coalition Secretary to be nominated by UNP
- Expert committee appointed to formulate policies
- Says DNF will follow social democratic economic policies
- Plans to appoint separate electoral organisers for DNF
By Nuwan Senarathna
Health Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne yesterday said the constitution of the Democratic National Front (DNF) has been finalised, and the coalition agreement will be signed within the next few weeks. Speaking to media at Temple Trees, Dr. Senaratne said the leadership council of the DNF will be chaired by the United National Party (UNP) leader Ranil Wickremesinghe under the constitution of the coalition. He also said the DNF coalition agreement would be signed on the same day as the announcement of the presidential candidate.
“According to the constitution of the coalition, the Secretary shall be appointed by the UNP, with the approval of the DNF leadership council. The Secretariat location of the coalition will also be decided by the leadership council. The Secretariat will be established at a neutral place,” he said.
A Committee has been appointed to formulate a policy framework for the proposed coalition. The policy framework will be put together by experts outside the coalition membership. Responding to questions, Dr. Senaratne said the UNP will have to amend its constitution if the leadership council and the DNF members decide to name a presidential candidate other than Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe. “According to the UNP constitution, the presidential candidate has to be their leader. If they decide to name someone else as presidential candidate, they might have to amend the constitution. But that will not be a big challenge.”
According to Dr. Senaratne, the economic policies will be aimed at promoting a sustainable and inclusive economy. The Minister said the DNF leadership council had agreed to appoint fresh organisers to selected electorates, as they had observed the UNP organisers were not active enough.
“Whether it is a parliamentary or any other election, the UNP has agreed to accommodate alliance partners as electoral organisers. The UNP has some weak electoral organisers, therefore a DNF organiser could be appointed if necessary.” Dr. Senaratne noted the DNF members would be focused on the policies of the coalition, not a particular individual. He said the coalition and its presidential candidate will be able to guide the country to prosperity.
Pic by Lasantha Kumara