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SLPP, UNP initiates action for forming broad alliance

25 Apr 2024 - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}      

  • Tiran, Vajira to work out arrangements to register new alliance

By Kelum Bandara  

In its first move for the formation of a broad political alliance, President Ranil Wickremesinghe had a meeting with Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) stalwart Basil Rajapaksa and representatives of other parties and groups, and decided to accelerate political work in view of the presidential election after May Day.   

Prime Minister Dinesh Gunawardena represented the Mahajana Eksath Peramuna at the meeting. Besides, Ministers Prasanna Ranatunga, Tiran Alles, Harin Fernando, Kanchana Wijesekara, MP Mahindananda Aluthgamage and Anura Priyadarshana Yapa attended the meeting held on Tuesday evening. Chief of Staff of the President Sagala Ratnayake was also present representing the United National Party (UNP).  
The SLPP and the UNP led by the President decided to have May Day rallies separately and merge for an alliance along with other likeminded parties in view of the presidential election after that.   The President will come forward as a common candidate this time and contest the election under the symbol of the proposed alliance.  
“The President will not contest under the UNP symbol,” a source said.  
 UNP Chairman Vajira Abeywardane and Minister Alles have been assigned to work out arrangements for the registration of the new alliance under a symbol acceptable to all the parties and groups.    The President is expected to launch the campaign targeting the election after the country secures the third tranche of the IMF (International Monetary Fund) in June, according to the same political source.  
In the formation of the new alliance, the political groups led by MPs Wimal Weerawansa, Dulles Alahapperuma and Pivithuru Hela Urumaya (PHU) will also be invited.  
At Tuesday’s meeting, it was decided to reach out to these parties and groups that defected from the SLPP .