The Tuesday night meeting between UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe and Deputy Leader Sajith Premadasa focused on which one of them could poll the most number of votes at the upcoming presidential election, Parliamentarian Ranjith Madduma Bandara said.
Minister Maddumabandara while asserting that the talks continued in a cordial and friendly atmosphere, added that Premier Wickremesinghe was mainly concerned on a foolproof and unfailing strategy to draw the maximum possible Sinhala Buddhist votes in the South.
“We discussed the most trustworthy and pragmatic winning formula for the UNP at the presidential poll and also how to ensure victory at the forthcoming Elpitiya Pradeshiya Saba election,” Minister Maddumabandara told the Daily Mirror.
Asked when the next round of talks would be between the two UNP leaders, he said: “We continue our discussion until we choose the right man as our presidential candidate today, tomorrow and day after”.
The UNP would contest the presidential polls as the United National Front (UNF), the political alliance that would unite other Sinhala, Tamil, Muslim and plantation sector political parties under one umbrella.
Minister Maddumabandara expressed hopes that the UNF candidate would be made public in the next few days and admitted that delay in nominating the candidate would affect the campaign strategy and added a positive outcome would be obtained within a short period of time and several rounds of talks would be held in the next few days.
The Prime Minister was in a positive mood and was of the opinion that all issues could be resolved through discussions in the next few days. There are no factions in the UNP as mentioned by certain media.
Minister and UNP Chairman Kabir Hashim, ministers Malik Samarawickrema and Rajitha Senaratne participated in the discussion apart from Minister Maddumabandara. (Sandun A. Jayasekera)