DNM demands vacant UNP seat

by Dasun Edirisinghe

Democratic National Movement (DNM), led by parliamentarian Dr. Chathura Senaratne, elder son of Dr. Rajitha Senaratne, yesterday demanded that one of their nominees be appointed to the UNP national list slot that fell vacant due to the demise of Lands Minister M. K. A. D. S. Gunawardena.

DNM General Secretary Aruna Zoysa said according to the MoU they had entered into with the UNP prior to the August 17 General Election it should be given to them.

"DNM members, Dr. Rajitha Senaratne (Kalutara District), Arjuna Ranatunga (Gampaha District), Dr. Chathura Senaratne (Gampaha District) and Sarath Sandanayake (Ratnapura District) contested under the UNP banner at the General Election under MoU," he said adding that except Sandanayake all others had entered Parliament.

According to their agreement, two UNP national list slots had been given to DNM members, Dr. Jayampathy Wickremeratne and M. K. A. D. S. Gunawardena, Zoysa said.

He said that the vacant seat should be given to the DNM member nominated by the movement.

"We expect to discuss the matter with Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe when he returns to the country after attending the World Economic Forum from Switzerland," Zoysa said.

Meanwhile, political sources said that former Army Commander Field Marshall Sarath Fonseka or former Colombo District MP Rosy Senanayake would be appointed to the vacant seat.

Both are defeated candidates and Field Marshall Fonseka contested the Colombo District from his Democratic Party, while Senanayake contested on the UNP ticket from the same district.

UNP General Secretary Kabeer Hasheem said the decision on the vacant national list seat would be decided by the Prime Minister.

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