By Ajith Siriwardana and Sanath Desmond
United National Party (UNP) parliamentarian Akila Viraj Kariyawasam told a news conference at party headquarters Sirikotha yesterday that UNP National Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe would be the party’s presidential candidate.
“The UNP will not field any other candidate but will have its present leader as the presidential candidate because what people want is a leader who is not corrupt, who can develop the economy and who is not interested in earning commissions,” Mr. Kariyawasam said
He said some senior ministers had lost their electorates at the Uva Provincial Council elections because the government had not allocated funds to Cabinet Ministers except through the Rajapaksas.
“It is not surprising that Minister Nimal Siripala De Silva lost his electorate because the Government had not provided him any funds for development projects. Funds are allocated only through the Rajapaksas. The Government wanted to defeat some senior ministers and it only wants to win MPs who are partial to the Rajapaksas,” Mr. Kariyawasam said.
He said people had decided to end the Rajapaksa regime because they had taken a serious decision against the Rajapaksas.
“Even the President was engaged in the door-to-door election campaign in Uva. People have realized that the Government cannot win elections by talking about the war victory. People want the economy developed and the brazen and blatant corruption stopped,” he said.
Mr. Kariyawasam said the UNP was going to take the people to the streets against this regime and the people have shown that they were ready to do so.