The backbench legislators of the United National Party (UNP) have decided during a meeting in parliament today (09) that the party's Deputy Leader, Minister Sajith Premadasa should be announced as the the UNP's presidential candidate.

The UNP MPs have unanimously agreed that the party needed to commence its election campaign work targeting the presidential election after naming Premadasa as the presidential candidate and UNP Leader, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe as the UNP's prime ministerial candidate.

It was also decided that Premadasa should be given all required powers and resources to spearhead the UNP's political campaign.

MPs Lakshman Wijemanna, S.M. Marikkar, Hector Appuhamy, Hesha Vithanage, Chaminda Wijesiri, Imran Maharoof, K.K. Piyadasa, Wijepala Hettiarachchi, A. Wijetunge, Sydney Jayaratne, Rohini Kavirathna, Thushara Indunil and Ashu Marasinghe have attended the meeting and agreed to these decisions.

Also, MPs Harshana Rajakaruna, Sandith Samarasinghe, Thusitha Jayamanne, Bandu Lal Bandarigoda, Sujith Sanjaya, Shantha Abeysekera and Hirunika Premachandra, who were not present at the meeting, have also expressed their support to the decisions reached at the meeting.