The UNP faction supporting Minister Sajith Premadasa is reported to have requested the party leadership to take a secret ballot of the working committee and the parliamentary group together to decide on the presidential candidacy.
Earlier, the UNP said it would put the matter to a vote at the working committee meeting to be convened soon.
However, a minister who is loyal to Mr. Premadasa said in addition to the working committee members, the members of the parliamentary group including those from the alliance partners should be allowed to participate in the secret ballot.
The alliance partners – The Sri Lanka Muslim Congress, All Ceylon Makkal Congress, Jathika Hela Urumaya and Tamil Progressive Front have pledged their support to Mr. Premadasa's presidential candidature.
Meanwhile, Mr. Premadasa had announced he would contest the election no matter what. (Kelum Bandara)