Sajith to form new alliance?

Final decision to be announced early Jan

By Easwaran Rutnam

United National Party (UNP) Deputy Leader MP Sajith Premadasa has set the groundwork to form a new alliance to contest the upcoming general election.

UNP MP Harin Fernando told The Sunday Morning that with UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe refusing to give way on the party leadership issue, Premadasa had decided to form a new, broad alliance. Asked if a final decision had been reached, Fernando said that 95% had been confirmed and a final decision would be announced in early January.

He said that they had already had talks with some alliance members of the United National Front (UNF) to join the new alliance.

Fernando said that the general consensus was that if Wickremesinghe did not step down as Party Leader, most of the UNP members would breakaway and go their own way in the new alliance.

After a stiff battle, Wickremesinghe had agreed to name Premadasa as the new Opposition Leader. Premadasa will be formally named as the new Opposition Leader when Parliament convenes on Friday, 3 January.

However, Premadasa had been demanding that he be appointed the UNP Leader in order to contest for the post of Prime Minister at the next parliamentary election.