Common alliance is a go

Stakeholders of the United National Front (UNF) have yesterday finalised the formation of a common political alliance under a common symbol that would contest the forthcoming general election as well as next presidential election. The decision was reached at the UNF group meeting last morning, attended by members of other political parties in the group as well, The Sunday Morning learns.

The decision to finalise the electoral alliance was reached following objections raised by several young leaders of the United National Party (UNP) of the need to change the Front’s leadership. The Sunday Morning reliably learns that it was then decided that the new electoral alliance should be finalised within the day, and its prime ministerial and presidential candidates be announced soon. Accordingly, a majority agreed that Sajith Premadasa should be named as the prime ministerial candidate, a senior UNF member told The Sunday Morning.

The symbol of the new alliance is likely to be the “swan”, which ironically was the symbol of President Maithripala Sirisena when he contested as the common candidate at the 2015 presidential election. UNF Leaders were to meet last night to finalise details.

Meanwhile, Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) Leader Rauf Hakeem, who is currently on a pilgrimage in Mecca, announced through a tweet that reiterated that the SLMC’s stance during the political crisis was the right one, and expressed displeasure at the latest turn of events.

“I’m gratified that SLMC rightfully stood firm to assert the independence of the legislature in the best traditions of representative democracy, saving it from the whims of an executive like a runaway train, hurtling to disaster,” Hakeem tweeted.

SLMC contested under the UNF at the last general election.