Ranil Will Not Contest The Presidency
Opposition and UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe will not contest the Presidency at the next Presidential elections, UNP MP Joseph Micheal Perera said.
Perera told The Sunday Leader that the UNP will field a ‘star’ candidate at the next elections and that the candidate will be revealed only after President Mahinda Rajapaksa formally announces a Presidential election.
Meanwhile the UNP says its focus right now is on the Uva elections and not a Presidential or General election. UNP MP John Amaratunga said that the opposition will not be fooled by claims by President Mahinda Rajapaksa that he is ready to hold a snap election. Amaratunga said that the President has always maintained he will not hold a Presidential election ahead of 2016 when his term ends and so the opposition does not expect him to change that position without being pressured to do so.
The Government is expected to call for elections in the Uva Province next and Amaratunga says the focus of the UNP will be to prepare for that election first. “After the Uva election we will think of a General or Presidential election,” he added. President Mahinda Rajapaksa had recently said that the Government is ready to hold a snap Presidential or General election next year if the opposition makes a formal request. Speaking to newspaper Editors in Colombo at a breakfast meeting, the President said that he has no plans to hold a snap Presidential election next year as his term ends in 2016.
However he said if the opposition makes a request for an early election then he is prepared to consider the request. (ISA)