The United National Party (UNP) reformists led by the party’s co-deputy leaders Karu Jayasuriya and Sajith Premadasa are pushing for a secret ballot at the two working committee meetings to select a new party leader.
Party sources said that amid the fresh tussle for a leadership change, the UNP would hold a special working committee meeting tomorrow to take some important decisions such as a secret ballot for leadership posts.
Earlier UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe expressed confidence in going for a vote at the working committee while deputy leader Karu Jayasuriya said yesterday he would contest for the post of party leader at a secret ballot.
When asked for a comment Moneragala district parliamentarian Ranjith Madduma Bandara a Jayasuriya loyalist said the question of a secret ballot would not be taken up at tomorrow’s meeting.
“I believe there will be two separate working committee meetings later to finalise the process. At one meeting, the motion will be moved calling for a secret ballot. The other meeting will be summoned to conduct this secret ballot. Tomorrow’s meeting will not focus on these matters,” he said.
UNP parliamentarian Ravi Karunanayake who is a confidant of Mr. Wickremesinghe said the working committee would meet tomorrow but it would not discuss this matter.
Meanwhile deputy leader Karu Jayasuriya announced his candidature for the post of party leader.
In a hard hitting statement, Mr. Jayasuriya accused a few among the present leadership who were holding the vast majority of supporters and the nation to ransom. He said these persons were working for their personal benefit.
“This is why the tireless campaign by me and my colleagues who seek reform to ensure democracy, transparency and the creation of a vibrant opposition has failed. We have time and again taken up these issues with Mr. Wickremesinghe but I say with great sadness and pain of mind that all our sincere efforts have failed. We have only been isolated,” Mr. Jayasuriya said.
He said though the UNP preached democracy to outsiders, it was not allowed in the party.
“We preach for democracy. But there is no democracy in our party. We preach on the need for transparency in the party. But there is no transparency in the party. We preach about unity in the party. Instead, there is a devious kind of manipulation to cause disharmony and seek revenge. We complain of authoritarianism in the government but forget that it is present in greater measure in our party,” he said.
Referring to his decision to join the government in 2007, he said he was only motivated by his resolve to support the government in the fight against terrorism.
“War is now over. But, peace has not arrived. Violence and corruption is on the rise. By hindsight, I have often wondered whether I had made an error of judgment. However, I must emphasise that in doing what I did, I went through the front door and came back also through the same door,” he said.
While announcing his candidacy to contest for the leadership, he said he took that decision to save the party and to unite it. (Kelum Bandara)
Dy. Leaders K & S, No use trying . RW is well fortified with his home made selected band of WC members ever ready to meekly jump up & protect him under any circumstances.Resign to your fate and think not any future election. you shall not poll more than even 29% of the votes.
ravishan Tuesday, 06 December 2011 09:28 AM
Very rightly said.
Puri Wednesday, 07 December 2011 10:06 AM
Hope there will be a new leader and a good opposition.
lal Tuesday, 06 December 2011 11:13 AM
very good we will see some kind of change
P.L.J.B.Palipana Monday, 05 December 2011 11:07 PM
Karu jayasooriya; what about the MPs who crossed over to the MR regime with you?
Damsen Tuesday, 06 December 2011 11:27 AM
No difference. Old wine in a different glass.
Wairooshi Tuesday, 06 December 2011 12:17 AM
We are with you Sir. Save UNP from the hypocrites and bring unity which is of paramount importance for the march forward!
banda Tuesday, 06 December 2011 01:29 AM
Secret vote is the way to assure democracy in the UNP. All should support it.
No needminiority Tuesday, 06 December 2011 12:18 PM
Sajith is the best...let him come as a leader
sparks Tuesday, 06 December 2011 02:51 AM
So the party is full of cowards.
DN Tuesday, 06 December 2011 03:06 AM
Some roads towards Sirikotha would be re-carpeted in this month
Nodrog Tuesday, 06 December 2011 03:30 AM
Ranil, please give up and go home. People will respect you more for this rather than curse for clinging on to power when you can't do the job any more. It's not what the Working Committee wants but rather what the UNP supporters want that matters. And they want a change in leadership! Even now many loyal UNPers destroy their votes rather than vote for you.
ravi Thursday, 08 December 2011 06:13 AM
Mr.Karu Kuru, you cannot be trusted, you are the person who ruined the party by joining the ruling party with 17 other UNP mp's for your own benifit. now you are talking about saving the party and uniting it. what about the 17 frogs who are with the government and the other green frogs who jumped after you started, will they leave the government and join UNP if you become the party leader.if you can do that you are accepted as the leader.
prabath Tuesday, 06 December 2011 03:56 AM
Alagiyawanna Thursday, 08 December 2011 06:33 AM
Ranil has not 'learnt to play the game'. It is a pathetic show for an old Royalist!
Kumar Tuesday, 06 December 2011 04:13 AM
It's a change for better, UNP has nothing to lose
Nish Thursday, 08 December 2011 07:33 AM
If the working commitee reelects Ranil at the secret ballot, all the UNP MP s should resign immediately. Because they cannot work as a responsible opposition. As UNP ers have to wait for long time to grab power I suggest them to try new generation of politics with a bunch of young specialists in various disciplines. When time comes they can take the country forward.
Kangarro Tuesday, 06 December 2011 05:19 AM
Wow nice hear hope this will bring a good change for every one and also for the country
ack Wednesday, 07 December 2011 01:25 PM
Ranil is a greedy man. anyhow if the leadership is changed that be a + sound to the UNP.
Nihal Thursday, 08 December 2011 08:13 AM
V R hoping very much!!!
Comments will be edited (grammar, spelling and slang) and authorized at the discretion of Daily Mirror online. The website also has the right not to publish selected comments.