Speaking in an interview with 'The Hindu', UNP Leader Wickremesinghe said many individuals will step forward after the conduct of the general election and they will be granted the opportunity to reorganise the party and prove themselves.
He stressed that at this stage only a single individual could be party leader, adding however when there is change in leadership, a leader would emerge from a group of people.
The UNP leader said therefore it was up to the party to decide on whether the post of Leader of the UNP, would fall to Leader of the Opposition Sajith Premadasa.
Excerpts of the interview with 'The Hindu' is as follows :
There is a perception that you are reluctant to make way for a new leader of your party?
Maybe. In fact, I didn’t want to take on the post of the Leader of the Opposition. I said let Sajith [Premadasa] be there, or someone else, we will try out some new people. Because I have been there earlier. And we have to groom a lot of new people to come in. And after this [general election] you will see who are the ones who do well.
For party leadership?
No, for leaders of the party. Because at this stage one will have to be the leader. Then, it has to be a group. When there is leadership change, there is a group and someone from that emerges later on.
But shouldn’t it be Mr. Premadasa, he is your deputy, and was a candidate?
That is for the party to decide, not me. Many of those people will come after the elections and let them have a hand at reorganising the party, and prove themselves.