Ranil refuses to budge

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Ranil Wickremesinghe is refusing to step down as Leader of the United National Party but is open to Speaker Karu Jayasuriya leading the charge at the upcoming Parliamentary General Elections, sources close to the former Prime Minister said.

Efforts to make Opposition Leader Sajith Premadasa the Party Leader and spearhead the campaign for the elections expected in the last week of April have thus far failed.

A majority of the UNP MPs support Premadasa to be the Leader, but the UNP Constitution requires the leader to be chosen by the Working Committee, where Wickremesinghe holds a comfortable majority.

The same deadlock appeared in choosing the UNP-led coalition’s candidate for the Presidential Election in November last year.

Premadasa was the candidate and he was roundly defeated by Gotabaya Rajapaksa by a huge margin.

President Rajapaksa can dissolve Parliament at the end of February paving the way for the April election.

If Jayasuriya were to accept the Party Leader position, he needs to step down as Speaker. As of last night, there were no such indications.

Premadasa complained that his Presidential campaign was hamstrung by the Wickremesinghe faction in the UNP and towards the culmination of the race he ran out of resources.

Before the campaign, Wickremesinghe proposed that Jayasuriya be the candidate, but that did not gather support within the party as Premadasa’s support base had already built momentum.

Efforts to arrange a meeting between Wickremesinghe, Jayasuriya and Premadasa to sort out the differences have failed. The more optimistic UNPers are saying “everything will be sorted out by Friday.”

This has left the UNP with the grim possibility that they would have to go into battle at the next elections, wounded and limping.

Latest Comments


  1. Time for him to leave the position. Hand full supporters around him only need him for the survival of each of them. Most unpopular leader to be retired soon. Hanging to the post forcefully. Shame full

  2. What ever said and and done, Ranil W is the leader of the UNP although UNP was defeated very badly.How ever Sajith has no credentials to PROVE THAT HE CAN LEAD THE PARTY TO VICTORY,BUT MISSERABLY FAILED AT PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS!!!

  3. Can’t leave the post, until He completely destroy the party as he promised
    Otherwise he will be sent Jail, if he keep his promise he will be rewarded like Ex president

  4. Is Ranil more concerened about propping up his political future or keeping the Rajapakshe clan in power? He certainly does not give a damn about the UNP party or opposition or the country. How many times will a person so resoundly rejected by the country and the members of UNP keep on hanging to power? This must be a guinness book of records for a party leader with the most number of failures. Those opportunists in the UNP working committee need to put the country first before their own pockets. This saga is tearing the UNP apart and also affecting the entire country because there is a complete unbalance of power and no effective opposition.

  5. This is like a stubborn and stupid batsman who has been given out refuses to leave the crease. It appears that the UNP constitution has been framed over the years, when Ranil was the leader, to suit his whims and fancies, and is most undemocratic. He will destroy the party if he does not get his way. “The Evil That Men Do Will Live After Them”. There is an ample majority in the party to take a vote on it.

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