The Prime Minister is due to notify Premadasa that if he agrees to pass the new constitution for the abolishment of the Executive Presidency within 100 days of winning the election, the party would consider nominating Sajith as their presidential candidate, according to PM’s office sources.
This decision will be notified to the party’s working committee.
During the past presidential election, the UNP extended their support to Maithripala Sirisena with the promise that the Executive Presidency would be abolished. However, it did not happen as planned but with the 19th Amendment to the Constitution the powers of the Executive President was somewhat limited.
In the event Sajith Premadasa agrees to this condition, the party would seek the assistance of the coalition in supporting Sajith Premadasa.
He is willing to prove to the Prime Minister that he will be contesting this time with the sole intention of abolishing the Executive Presidency.
The discussion between Ranil and Sajith is scheduled to be held after the Cabinet meeting, an MP from the Sajith faction told Sri Lanka Mirror.
He expressed hope that the two leaders would come to an agreement regarding the presidential candidate at today’s meeting.
Sajith Premadasa who participated in the Enterprise Sri Lanka event in Jaffna yesterday and toured Killinochchi, had returned to Colombo last night.
During his Jaffna tour, he had held an almost three hour meeting with Mawei Senadhirajah, M.A. Sumanthiran, Dharmalingham Sidharthan, Ishwarapadam Sarawanabhavan from the TNA over lunch including the Jaffna District MPs
and Jaffna Mayor Emanuel Arnold.
True democracy lies with the UNP - Sajith
The UNP Deputy Leader Sajith Premadasa who participated in the Enterprise Sri Lanka exhibition as the Chief Guest on the third day told media afterwards that true democracy lies within the UNP and although some who do not understand democracy sees it as a crisis within the party, he said it was not a crisis but the UNP members merely exercising their democratic right to express their views.
He noted that only in a democratic environment that various views could be expressed and if it is not permitted, then it is invariably a dictatorial rule.
Sajith-Ranil like father and son - Kiriella
Meanwhile, Lakshman Kiriella noted that while Ranil Wickremesinghe and Sajith Premadasa are expected to reach an agreement at today’s meeting, the presidential candidate would only be selected by the UNP working committee.
He made this statement in Kandy in response to media queries.
He also denied media reports suggesting that there was a clash between Minister Kabir Hashim and himself, adding that it was an exchange of words and they were still good friends.
“Kabir and I are good friends. We had a small exchange of words. Our party is a democratic party and we sometimes express our views and there are arguments. However, I have no issue with Kabir.
There is no division in the party. Sajith is currently holding UNP rallies and everyone is working tirelessly for the victory of the party.
Today, there will be a final decision during the meeting with the Prime Minister and Sajith Premadasa. There is no dispute between them. They are like father and son and they have a very good understanding between the two of them.
However, at this meeting they will not decide on who the UNP presidential candidate would be. They will come to an agreement, but the candidate is decided by the UNP working committee.
The SLPP candidate is an American citizen and except for Mahinda Rajapaksa, the rest are American citizens who lived off American hand-outs.
We could also have left the country, but we are a group who love the country,” he said.