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Yapa skips opportunity to lead Wayamba PC

The UPFA has dropped a plan to replace former Wayamba Chief Minister Athula Wijesinghe with Media Minister Anura Priyadarshana Yapa as its chief ministerial candidate for the forthcoming Wayamba PC polls.

Although Wayamba campaign manager Health Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva yesterday told The Island that they never contemplated fielding Yapa, well informed sources said that the SLFP topbrass had recently agreed on Yapa’s candidature. Silva recently confirmed Yapa’s move when he addressed a public rally in support of UPFA candidates contesting Wayamba PC.

Silva addressing a public rally at Hettipola last Friday confirmed Yapa’s move. Turning towards Yapa seated on the front row of the invitees, the Leader of the House said that methumath chande illanawa (he, too, would contest the polls).

De Silva said that they were campaigning to ensure the victory of the UPFA and not for any individual candidate. Among the politicians present on this occasion were Berty Premalal Dissanayake and S. B. Navinna.

Sources speculated that the SLFP would have dropped the plan to sideline Wijesinghe to prevent a crisis. Wijesinghe hadn’t been present at any of the meetings held at Paduwasnuwara, Polgahawela, Dambadeniya, Bingiriya electorates last Friday.

The UNP, too, nominated Prasanna Senarath, former Opposition leader of Wayamba PC as its chief ministerial candidate after several MPs including Sajith Premadasa declined to lead the province. A UNP MP told The Island that the parliamentary group was of the opinion that the former Opposition Leader should be allowed to lead the campaign.

Meanwhile former presidential advisor S. Sathasivam would contest Central PC on the UNP ticket. (SF)

PC polls on Feb 14

Elections Department yesterday said that Wayamba and Central PC polls would be held on February 14.

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