UNP awaits formal announcement

Monday, 17 November 2014 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

The opposition United National Party (UNP) says it is awaiting a formal announcement from President Mahinda Rajapaksa saying presidential elections will be held next year, in order for the party to take the next step. UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe said yesterday that once the formal announcement is made by the President, the UNP will announce who it will back for President at the polls and will then begin campaigning. He said that since President Mahinda Rajapaksa still has a couple of years for his term to end, the Opposition cannot prepare for an election next year till the President makes the proclamation. The UNP Leader meanwhile noted that the party was making initial preparations to face an election next year. He said that former SLFP member Nandana Gunathilaka, who joined the UNP, was helping the party prepare for the polls while the UNP Working Committee had been further strengthened with the inclusion of UNP member Imthiaz Bakeer Markar in the Committee. Meanwhile, UNP General Secretary Tissa Attanayake said that the UNP was confident it could win at the next election and defeat President Mahinda Rajapaksa. He said that there was a need to gather the support of all opposition political parties to defeat the President and the Opposition had now come together to achieve that goal. Attanayake said that the next presidential election would be critical for the country and the main objective of the country should be to use the election to defeat the President. (Colombo Gazette)