UNP leadership deadlock persists

Friday, 17 January 2020 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}



  • Neither camp gives ground
  • Pro-Sajith faction claims won’t leave headquarters until Wickremesinghe gives up leadership

The United National Party (UNP) was deadlocked again yesterday in trying to appointing a leader, with both sides holding on to their respective positions.  

Ranil Wickremesinghe
Sajith Premadasa

A Parliamentary Group meeting aimed at ending the leadership issue ended last evening, with neither faction yielding ground. 

A group of MPs supporting Sajith Premadasa had refused to leave the party headquarters ‘Sirikotha’ until Ranil Wickremasinghe named Premadasa as the unconditional Leader of the Party, a senior UNP MP told the Daily FT. 

Parliamentarian Dr. Harsha De Silva, taking to Twitter, stated that a request by the majority for a vote on the leadership was turned down, prompting some to take an unofficial vote on the proposal to make Sajith Premadasa the new UNP leader. Unofficial vote result was 52:0 for the proposal. De Silva claimed that Party Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe and General Secretary Akila Viraj Kariyawasam had walked out.

“@RW_UNP abruptly adjourns @officialunp MP group meeting as majority asks for leadership vote. Gen Sec Akila n some follow. Others stay back n take unofficial vote on proposal to make @sajithpremadasa leader. Result 52:0 (total UNP MPs 77 including those not present today). Now?” he tweeted. 

Kariyawasam was not reachable for comment.