Tussle in UNP to be prez candidate: State Minister submits proposals in respect of DNF constitution

Amidst differences of opinion in the UNP over its 2019 presidential election candidate, Sujeewa Senasinghe MP, non-cabinet Minister of Science, Research and Technology has proposed significant amendments/additions to the proposed constitution of the Democratic National Front (Draft dated 28th January 2019) on behalf of an influential section of the parliamentary group.

2019 presidential aspirant UNP Deputy Leader Sajith Premadasa wants their nominee elected before the formation of the DNF.

Lawmaker Senasinghe has submitted his letter containing proposals to UNP leader and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe with copies to Rauf Hakeem MP, Palani Digambara MP, Patali Champika Ranawaka MP, Rishad Bathiudeen MP, Rajitha Senaratne MP, Mano Ganeshan MP, Akila Viraj Kariyawasam MP and Kabir Hashim. The following is the text of the letter: "1. Article 33 to be Repealed and Replaced as Follows

A nominee of the UNP duly endorsed by the UNP shall be nominated and appointed as the Secretary of the front.

2. Article 19 (ii) to be Repealed and Replaced with the following

Every Founder Constituent Party of the front who shall have two (2) or more Members represented in Parliament, shall be entitled to nominate one member of such constituent party to the Leadership Council, as long as, such Constituent Party is a Constituent Party of the Front Such nomination shall be made by the General Secretary of that Constituent Party

3. Article 19 (III) to be Repealed

4. Addition of Article 19 (VI) as follows:

The UNP to be entitled to nominate members to the Leadership Council to make up a numerical majority of members of the Leadership Council at any given time (eg the Constituent Parties Nominees and Individual Founder Members number Five(5) then the UNP to be entitled to nominate. six (6) members).

This Numerical Majority of the UNP in the Leadership Council shall apply even when the Leadership Council requests nomination of members to the Leadership Council under Article 19.4

5. Article 26 to be Repealed

6. Articles 16,17 and 18 to be Repealed

7. Article 21 to be Repealed

8. Article 24 to be Repealed and be Replaced with the following

The Leader of the Front shall be a nominee from the UNP. Such nominee to be nominated and endorsed by the UNP before the first meeting of the Leadership Council: Whenever a -vacancy arises in the position of the Leader of the front, the UNP shall nominate- to be appointed a duly endorsed member of the UNP to be the Leader of the Front.

9. Article 63 the following to be Added

The matter of selection of the Nominee for the Presidential Election will not be considered a Casus Omissus (Constitution silent) and in no way will be dealt as a matter where the Constitution is silent.

10. The following in Article 9 to be Repealed

"The persons listed in the Second Schedule to this constitution shall be deemed to be admitted members of the Front and shall hereinafter be referred to as ‘Individual. Founding members’"

11. The following in Article 3 to be Deleted

"No 146/20 Sri Sambudatya Jayantha Mawatha (Havelock Road), Colombo 5"

And Replaced with

"Sirikotha 400, B 120, Sri Jayewardenepura, Kotte."

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