The Untied National Party (UNP) working committee yesterday decided to hand over the party leadership to a younger leader who will represent a new generation, the party said in a statement yesterday.
The party's media unit said a majority of the working committee members were of the view that the party should be handed over to a new leader considering the sentiments expressed by the party members.
“The working committee agreed to give an opportunity to those who wish to take over the leadership and to take into consideration the views of the party membership. It also agreed to hand over the party to a younger leader focusing on national interests,” it said.
The party said the next party leader would be selected from those who had expressed a willingness to take over the leadership and those identified as potential leaders,.
“The working committee decided to handover responsibilities to younger members of the party as a first step towards creating a youthful leadership,” the party statement said.
Meanwhile, UNP senior Vajira Abeywardene told journalists after the working committee meeting that several names were proposed for the post of party leader at yesterday’s working committee meeting.
When asked whether former speaker Karu Jayasuriya’s name was proposed he said several names were mentioned. Mr. Abeywardene said he did not have any issues with Mr. Jayasuriya though he holds a different political ideology. Mr. Abeywardena said he has opposed the appointment of Mr. Jayasuriya as an interim leader.
Former Minister Daya Gamage was seen making an early exit from the working committee meeting. (Yohan Perera)