By Yohan Perera
While United National Party (UNP) Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe had assured that he would continue to hold discussions with the Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) Leader Sajith Premadasa to ensure that the UNP was able to contest the general election without a split, party hierarchy said yesterday the constitution of the new alliance was more or less a party constitution and that it should be converted into an alliance constitution.
Sources close to UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe said the alliance constitution did not allow members of other parties to contest under its banner.
“They have not changed the clause in the constitution allowing members of other political parties to contest under its banner. If not the UNP members will have to forgo their membership before joining this party,” they said.
“If swan or elephant is released it cannot be used by the UNP party for five years. It can only be taken back at the next general election in 2025. This will mean that the UNP has not contested the presidential election, the general election the local government polls and the provincial council poll in five years and as such will be declared defunct by the Election Commission.” the sources said.
“The party organisers unanimously agreed that the elephant would be the symbol at the general election and that there should be no split in the party,” sources said. Meanwhile, Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) General Secretary Ranjith Madduma Bandara told Daily Mirror that the UNP had accepted and approved the SJB constitution and indicated that changes were not necessary.
“I have the minute to prove that UNP had approved the Constitution,” he said and as such changes were not necessary.
“If swan or elephant is released it cannot be used by the UNP party for five years. It can only be taken back at the next general election in 2025