As the country prepares for the Presidential Election due at the end of the year, UNP the Grand Old Party is yet to announce it’s presidential candidate. UNP has internal structures and a devised system to elect their party leader and their party’s presidential candidate. It is its Working Committee which would decide by a majority who will occupy those positions. According to Media reports the forerunners among others for this position are the party leader Ranil Wicremesinghe (70) and his deputy Sajith Premadasa (67), both appreciates similarities and respect differences in our society and fit to contest for the Presidency. Both are fiercely loyal to UNP and know very well how vital it is for a party to be unified if it is to triumph the common foe; therefore it’s best for UNP the Grand Old Party to make its mind soon.
Ranil took the leadership of the UNP in 1994 and since then as UNP was not able to form the government there were many attempts prior to 2015 to dislodge him from his pedestal, but has withstood the winds of fury like the Rock of Gibraltar and is today the current Prime Minster of Sri Lanka. Ranil was educated at Royal College, Colombo and soon after obtaining his degree from the Colombo University passed out as an Attorney-at-Law. But his future lay not in its practice in court but in making it in the legislative chamber was soon caged into the UNP by his uncle J. R. Jayewardene, the first executive President. Ranil entered parliament and in due course became the youngest cabinet minister in Sri Lanka ever.
But today most talked about in the media and self-announced as preferred presidential candidate of UNP is Sajith, who is the Cabinet Minister of Housing, Construction and Cultural Affairs. Also educated at Royal College, Colombo, entered London School of Economics of the University of London, graduating with a BSc in economics, politics and international relations. Entered politics following the demise of his father Ranasinghe Premadasa, who had earlier managed with sheer determination transcend the odds stacked against him to become the second executive president of the country.
Forthcoming presidential election is the most important one since the presidential system of government was first started; as the nation is at its most decisive crossroad it has never stood before. Though the nation’s future fate hinge upon the people’s decision as to who will be the next president. Whether the candidate supported by the UNP lead alliance to continue governance under democracy or start fresh all over again with their opponents with its totalitarianism by getting their candidate elected as the next president.
The positive note is both Ranil and Sajith have demonstrated that they prefer to lead a nation where both communal and religious differences are completely ruled out. Therefore while the whole nation is waiting on the members of UNP to decide; the Grand Old Party should make up their mind accepting the maxim that holds true for both nature and politics ‘as the younger rises and the old must fall’. That will enable the country to get a new president in Sajith, acceptable to all communities and ensure UNP alliance victory at the next General Election. This will no doubt will give continuity by enabling Ranil to continue beyond 2020 as Prime Minister to uplift the lives of all the people with the V2025 development plan that was activated by the present government.