By Yohan Perera
New Democratic Front (NDF) Presidential Candidate who made his first public appearance yesterday after a quiet phase following the Presidential election said he will not accept the Prime Ministerial candidature if he is not appointed as the leader of UNP. “I don’t want the Prime Ministerial candidature of the party without the leadership as I am not a person who bows down to conditions,” Mr. Premadasa who met the party activists and voters in Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte said.
Also Mr. Premadasa said he is willing to accept the party leadership if majority of UNPers wants him as the leader. “ However I don’t intend to capture the leadership following stubborn moves. I also do not intend to divide the UNP and create factions among the party but would like to unite it,” he said. He said it is of paramount importance that UNP wins the general elections as such a scenario would help maintain a balance of power.
Responding to a question raised by the party members as to whether he thought that naming him as the party’s candidate late contributed to his defeat, Mr. Premadasa said he was able to attract 5.6 million though the official naming of the candidate came late. Asked as to why he was quiet after the presidential election, the UNP Deputy Leader said he was quiet as he needed a recess after a heavy campaigning at the presidential election.