Next Presidential candidate will be a UNPer - Navin

Plantation Industries Minister Navin Dissanayake yesterday said that the next Presidential candidate of the United National Party will definitely be a UNPer and not an outsider.

The Minister was responding to a journalist regarding the next Presidential candidate of the UNP at a media conference yesterday at the Sri Lanka Tea Board.

The journalist also highlighted that the SLPP’s Presidential candidate would be nominated by former President Mahinda Rajapaksa.

Responding, Minister Dissanayake said the SLPP’s Presidential candidate would definitely be a Mahinda Rajapaksa choice and it may even be Shiranthi Rajapaksa.

“But in our party we do not have a system like that. Our party is a democratic party. So the Presidential candidate will be nominated after discussing with all Pradeshiya Sabha and Provincial Council members and MPs in addition to the central committee members. It can be an old face or a new face,” the Minister said.

He said that within the party there are lots of opinion groups and they would decide on the candidate through internal consultation.

He further added that in 1988, there were three candidates - late President Premadasa, Gamini Dissanayake and Lalith Athulathmudali. All of them were equally capable leaders. But they went through an internal process and decided that the best candidate was President Premadasa, since he was the deputy leader of the party and the Prime Minister and was a very long-standing party member.

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