Former United National Party (UNP) Parliamentarian Navin Dissanayake says he has decided to contest for the UNP leader post if the current leader steps down.
Dissanayake said he feels he has the support of 90 per cent of members of the UNP who were in Parliament, to be appointed as the UNP leader. Speaking at a special media conference held yesterday, Dissanayake said that he has been with the UNP long enough to now lead the party.
He also said that in his opinion only the UNP Working Committee cannot decide who should be the UNP leader. Dissanayake said he would propose that the opinion of grassroot level UNP members be sought to appoint a new leader.
He said that the UNP lost the last Parliamentary election because most UNP supporters did not vote. Last month Ruwan Wijewardene was elected as the new Deputy Leader of the UNP.
Wijewardene and UNP Assistant Leader Ravi Karunanayake were nominated for the post of Deputy Leader. A secret ballot was later held among members of the UNP Working Committee and Wijewardene was elected to the post. Dissanayake said he did not contest for the Deputy Leader post and has no issue with Wijewardene 's appointment. (Easwaran Rutnam)