Common candidate must be from UNP – Mangala
Next Presidential election
UNP WP and SP CM candidates to be announced later

by Zacki Jabbar

 The Opposition’s Common candidate at the next Presidential Election expected to be held this year should be from the UNP, Mangala Samaraweera MP and a member of the UNP’s Leadership Council said yesterday.

MP Samaraweera told a news conference in Colombo that the UNP was in discussion with a cross section of Opposition parties including the JVP, Democratic Party led by Sarath Fonseka, TNA and also members of the SLFP fed up with the "Family Circus," to form a broad alliance to face the next Presidential Poll.

"I think the Common Presidential Candidate should be from the UNP," Samaraweera said, adding that he did not envisage any difficulty in arriving at a consensus, since the common objective was to oust the corrupt and dictatorial Rajapaksa regime.

Samaraweera appealed to all Opposition political parties to set aside their differences and unite to save the country from the UPFA’s disastrous policies which had resulted in unprecedented corruption, crime and a mounting debt burden, which had engulfed the entire country.

The Rajapaksa regime without coming to terms with reality and acting sensibly was on a collision course with the international community, and that demonstrated its lack of foresight and flawed foreign policy which would have disastrous consequences for the country and its people, MP Samaraweera pointed out.

General Secretary of the UNP Tissa Attanayake said that they were in the process of interviewing prospective candidates to contest the Western and Southern Provincial Council Polls expected to be held in March or early April.

The Chief Ministerial candidates would be announced later. There was no need to waste time and energy debating as to who the Chief Minister should be. The focus should be on winning. Thereafter everything would fall in place, Attanayake noted.

The UNP had launched a 100-day work programme at the grassroots level, aimed at initially facing the Western and Southern Provincial Council Elections and it would be gradually extended country wide with Parliamentary Polls also expected to be held this year, he added.

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