Parliamentarian S.M. Marikkar says a leader from the United National Party will be elected as the 7th Executive President of this country with the support of Mahinda Rajapaksa.
President Maithripala Sirisena claims that according to surveys conducted, it is evident that no candidate will be able to secure over 50 per cent of the votes and would, therefore, need the support of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP).
Deputy Leader of the UNP, Sajith Premadasa claims the special discussion held last night with UNF leaders on the Presidential candidate was a resounding success. The Minister made this claim responding to the media while leaving the meeting venue.
The meeting held at the residence of Minister Mangala Samaraweera last night (14) was also attended by Ministers Champika Ranawaka, Rauff Hakeem, Rishad Bathiudeen, Mano Ganesan and Palani Digambaram. Meanwhile, UNP Ministers supporting Premadasa including Malik Samarawickrama, Kabir Hashim, Mangala Samaraweera, Ranjith Maddumabandara, Eran Wickramaratne were also in attendance.
According to sources, the Ministers had engaged in a lengthy discussion about the possible candidate the coalition led by the UNP could field in the upcoming election.
Following the meeting, Minister Ajith P. Perera had put up the post below on his Facebook page.
A challenge presented by PM Ranil!
A decision was made to discuss with the minority parties of the UNF after Premadasa’s meeting with PM Wickremesinghe last Tuesday (10).
According to the BBC Sinhala Service, the PM had stipulated that Premadasa must win over the support of the minority parties if he is to become the UNP Presidential candidate which was agreed by the parties as well. The meeting was held last night in accordance with this agreement.
UNP decision to Ranil on Tuesday
Meanwhile, a party leader of the UNF who was in attendance at yesterday's meeting told theleader.lk that the agreements of the meeting will be informed to the Prime Minister officially on Tuesday after the cabinet meeting.
While Minister Rajitha Senaratne was not invited to yesterday's meeting, sources claim Premadasa is set to meet Senaratne separately in the coming days.