The general secretary of the Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU), Patali Champika Ranawaka has stepped down from his post and resigned from the party yesterday (12) in a bid to assume the deputy leadership of the Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB), informed political sources said.
Several JHU members who engaged in active politics with Patali Champika Ranawaka also resigned from the party yesterday.
"If the SJB continues to be built on the foundations of a democratic constitution, we are ready to move forward with them," SJB MP Patali Champika Ranawaka said, addressing the Special National Representative Conference of the JHU held at the Sri Lanka Foundation Institute yesterday.
As observed by MP Ranawaka, the process of formulating the party constitution to enable the SJB to be a more democratic force is already underway and is currently in its final stages.
SJB Leader Sajith Premadasa has requested that the party submit a draft constitution to the proposed Executive Council and submit its views immediately.
The Executive Council consists of SJB parliamentarians. The SJB Working Group submitted a draft constitution at the parliamentary group meeting held on December 01 and was instructed to submit their views before December 04.
According to the proposed party constitution, the party should hold a convention once a year and the party leader should be elected annually at the convention.
The leader can appoint a team of officials to assist him with regard to daily operations. However, the Executive Council will be the main decision making body.
Commenting on this development to 'Anidda
' newspaper, a SJB MP stated that provisions are to be included in the SJB constitution where the Leader is able to make appointments as practiced in the United National Party.
Discussions in this regard were held from December 01-03 under the patronage of general secretary MP Ranjith Madduma Bandara and national organiser MP Tissa Attanayake, he said, adding that SJB Leader Sajith Premadasa refrained from taking part in the discussions to allow the MPs to make independent decisions.
Thisath Wijegunawardena PC, Attorney-at-Law Suren Fernando and Attorney-at-Law Farman Cassim had drafted the constitution.