The struggle to change the leadership of the United National Party (UNP) came to surface again with fresh vigor from another group of MPs, just after the Provincial Council elections in North Central and Sabaragamuwa Provinces.
The group of MPs are to meet tomorrow (26) night to discuss the future programme. They are to urge Mr. Ranil Wickramasinghe not only to resign from the post of the party leader but also from the Opposition Leadership. A UNP frontline leader said to Lanka-e-News that they would intensify the struggle to oust the leader expecting early results. He said that the group would meet the leader and say to him to resign without further letting to deteriorate the party since he has no further interest or luck to lead the party. He said this appeal is made by not only his group but by all the MPs sans one or two.
He said that seven or eight MPs were supporting the leader but they also joined his group after the Provincial Council polls. He said that the party re-structuring has also not ended. The MP said that he had no idea about the party future after the polls, stressing that the group of MPs who are seeking party restructuring worked hard for the party in the election campaign.
He expected that the party leader would resign with honor and alternative measures would be initiated to oust him otherwise. Meanwhile, a discussion was underway to take four UNP MPs to the government. The President stated after the election victory that he would reiterate the 2005 Presidential appeal to join regardless party differences to build a new country. He further said that the doors were open to the latecomers as well.
UNP internal sources said that former Deputy Leader Karu Jayasuriya led a struggle for party restructuring but left the party with 17 others since his wish was not fulfilled. Several others who rejected to join them and obtain Ministerial portfolios then are to join the government in the coming few weeks.