UNP leader for Colombo Ravi Karunanayake says his personal stand is that a presidential election should be held first for the country’s stability.

Also a former finance minister, he told the media that it is the presidential polls only that could decide the country’s preparations for the future.

The president will announce the election date that will be decided by the Election Commission, and it should be held by 17 October, he said.

Karunanayake also said that their political alliance for elections would be one that works for the country, adding that "alliances mushrooming today are of no consequence and the most powerful one will be launched at the appropriate time."

The UNP is prepared to show its might on May Day, with the party rectifying its shortcomings and preparing to go forward.

Around 90 percent of the deserters are discussing a return to the UNP, he added.

Speaking further, he claimed the country’s situation was comparatively better now, although people still undergo difficulties.

"The nation-building programme of president Ranil Wickremesinghe is a successful and practical one. Investors think positively about the country now with the economy building gradually and growing, and so do the creditors", said Karunanayake.

With the rupee appreciating, the dividends will go to the people, he said, but said caution should be taken as the risk still remains.

Taking the president’s programme forward will help minimize the difficulties, said Karunanayake.

He also referred to the claim by ex-president Maithripala Sirisena that he knew the masterminds of the Easter Sunday attack.

The law should be enforced strictly over such matters, he said, adding that politics aimed at attracting votes should be rejected.

Karunanayake went onto say that what he has been saying about the Central Bank proved to be correct now.

The country needs fiscal discipline, while those in the economic and financial fields themselves should act with discipline.

Even they admit it now that it is unreasonable and inhuman for only the Central Bank to raise the salaries of its staff, while pay hikes have been ruled out for the entire state sector, he added.

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