Sri Lanka’s Opposition Leader, Sajith Premadasa, who on Wednesday registered a new political alliance to contest the upcoming parliamentary elections in the island country, said he would offer United National Party Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe a national list seat if he agrees to settle the ongoing rift between them and contest under the new ‘Heart symbol’, senior UNP members quoted in the Daily Mirror said.
The offer is likely to be made when the two leaders meet today, to attempt to reach a settlement.
The United National Party, is on the verge of splitting, with members loyal to Wickremesinghe stating that they would only contest under the Elephant symbol, while Sajith’s faction is confident that members will defect from Ranil and contest the upcoming general elections under the new Heart symbol.
“It is not possible for Ranil Wickremesinghe or any of his members to contest under any other than the Elephant symbol. We are in fact contemplating to remove these members who have registered under the Heart symbol from the UNP,” a senior UNP MP close to the former Prime Minister said.
However, Sajith’s faction said they would not deviate from the new Heart symbol and would contest without Ranil Wickremesinghe and his members if they do not agree.
“No one from the UNP now wants to contest under Ranil. He will be isolated if he does not agree to Sajith’s proposal,” said a Sajith loyalist.
A senior UNP MP said this rift is likely to make Ranil leading the UNP separately in the upcoming parliamentary elections.