Ranil invites SF to join UNP direct
Jumbo Leader to be elected once in six yearsJuly 19, 2012, 11:02 pm
by Zacki Jabbar
The UNP Working Committee yesterday adopted proposals to elect the party leader once in six years instead of annually. Deputy and Assistant Leaders and National Organiser are to be chosen by a two-thirds majority.
Informed sources said that the proposals, submitted by Tilak Marapana, had been seconded by John Ameratunga and adopted unanimously. They have to be approved by the party convention due later this year to take effect.
Among the other proposals adopted by the UNP Working Committee was the appointment of the Chairman by the party leader besides the Secretary and Treasurer. Currently, the Chairman is elected by consensus or through a vote.
UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe, who chaired the meeting, said that the proposed changes would give stability to the party regardless of who the leader was.
After the violence perpetrated by some members, during last year’s elections at Sirikotha, the vast majority of party members and officer bearers were sick and tired of annual polls, Wickremesinghe noted. "I won’t be the leader for ever. But the party needs to go on. Annual polls would only lead to chaos and destruction, similar to what was witnessed last year. Such incidents were demoralizing and led to damaging divisions within the party."
Wickremesinghe invited the former army commander and leader of the DNA, General Sarath Fonseka to join the Joint Opposition Alliance, if he genuinely wanted to topple the corrupt and dictatorial Rajapaksa government. Fonseka was also welcome to join the UNP direct, he said, adding that there was no need for a third party involvement for that purpose.
The UNP Working Committee also discussed the forthcoming elections to the Eastern, North-Central and Sabaragamuwa provinces and appointed Joseph Michael Perera, John Ameratunga and Lakshman Kirielle as campaign managers for the respective provinces.
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