The United National Party is likely to announce a new leader by mid next week after senior members and the key contenders to the leadership post held successful meetings on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, a senior member told the Daily Mirror yesterday.
"We have held successful meetings and moved steps forward. We are now reaching towards an amicable compromise, which is being seen after a long time," the senior source said.
Discussions held over the week have also revolved around a complete transformation of the party and there will be some key changes made. The Daily Mirror learns that as of last night the contenders have been shortlisted and more discussions over the weekend will lead to a final decision being made.
The United National Party, which is currently led by Ranil Wickremesinghe was expected to announce a new leader before the party's 74th anniversary which was held on September 6. However talks among the members failed as no compromise was reached with at least 5 people vying for the leadership.
Mr. Wickremesinghe however has remained firm that he will hand over the leadership only once a united decision is reached among its party members and the party should not be divided further.
Some of the contenders for the leadership are Ruwan Wijewardene, Ravi Karunanayake, Arjuna Ranatunga, Vajira Abeygunawardena and Akila Viraj Kariyawasam. (JAMILA HUSAIN)