The future leader of the United National Party has to be a member of either the party's Working Committee or the Executive Council, party members were informed when the Working Committee met on Tuesday night to discuss the leadership issue, the Daily Mirror learns.
A senior source who attended the meeting said that following Karu Jayasuriya's request to be the next leader of the UNP, his name was proposed at the Working Committee by Navin Dissanayake, but Dissanayake was informed that according to the party's constitution, the new leader had to be a member of the Working Committee or the Executive Council.
Jayasuriya is not a member of either of the two. Following this revelation, there was no objection raised by any members who attended the Working Committee but it is learnt that a majority of UNPers had informed it that they would prefer to select a young leader who can take the party forward.
Many names including those of Akila Viraj Kariyawasam, Ravi Karunanayake, Ruwan Wijewardena and Vajira Abeywardena have been proposed for the leadership post.
The Working Committee has decided to discuss the matter when it meets next week and a decision on the new leader will be made before the party anniversary which will be held on September 6.
The Working Committee will also decide next week whether the party will go in for a vote or a unanimous decision on the new leader. (JAMILA HUSAIN)