While Premadasa’s name was nominated by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe at the meeting, it was unanimously accepted by the Working Committee, UNP Spokesman Minister Harin Fernando was quoted as saying to the BBC Sinhala Service.
This would be the first time a UNP member would be contesting at a Presidential election following Ranil Wickremesinghe’s bid in 2005.
In 2010 and 2015, the party threw its support behind the common candidate.
The current Minister of Housing, Construction and Cultural Affairs, Sajith Premadasa is the son of Sri Lanka’s second executive President Ranasinghe Premadasa.
While there was an ongoing internal discussion on the party’s potential Presidential candidate, the Pohottuwa party members kept insisting that Premadasa will not be named as the UNP’s presidential candidate.
However, Minister of Finance Mangala Samaraweera, commenting on the party’s internal discussions, always noted that this proved the democratic environment within the party which should be commended.