UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe today consolidated his position at the party helm , after the party’s Working Committee did away with the annual secret ballot for the election of its leader and other office bearers, and instead decided to hold it only once in six years.
It was also decided that the appointments to the posts of General Secretary, Treasurer and Chairman would be done at the discretion of the party leader.
The UNP introduced amendments to its constitution last year, providing for the appointment of its office bearers through a secret ballot among working committee members whenever there was no consensus for it. Accordingly, the party held its first secret ballot in December last year, reappointing Mr. Wickremesinghe as the leader. In addition, Daya Gamage was elected as the national organizer and Sajith Premadasa as the deputy leader.
Later, a committee headed by President’s Counsel Srinath Perera proposed that the party should do away with it, as otherwise it could affect the unity of the party.
UNP General Secretary Tissa Attanayake told the Daily Mirror online that President’s Counsel Tilak Marapana, based on recommendations by this committee, moved a resolution calling for the abolition of Section 8-I of the party constitution which provided for annual secret ballots.
“It was adopted unanimously. Now, the party leader will be appointed once in six years only. Also, the deputy leader, the assistant leader and the national organizer will be appointed for a similar period through the majority approval of the Working Committee,” he said.
“At the election of office bearers through a secret ballot last time, there was a major commotion. The property of Sirikotha building was also damaged,” he said. (Kelum Bandara)