UNP to contest as UNF with elephant symbol

[TamilNet, Sunday, 21 October 2001, 21:51 GMT]
The main opposition United National Party (UNP) will contest the forthcoming general election scheduled to be held on 5 December under the name of the United National Front (UNF). However the election symbol will be 'elephant'. A motion to this effect was unanimously approved at the special convention of the UNP held Sunday at Colombo Town Hall.

ranil_wickremesinghe_6.jpgThe special convention was convened consequent to a motion submitted to the UNP leadership that the party should contest the forthcoming general election under the name 'United National Front.'

The new alliance called UNF comprises Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) led by Mr.Rauf Hakeem, and PA dissidents' group led by former minister S.B.Dissanayake and some small parties.

Mr.Ranil Wickremasinghe, Leader of the UNP addressing the convention said a new political culture should be created to solve the burning problems of the country such as economic instability and the cruel war.

Mr.S.B.Dissanayake said the UNF would win all the electoral districts in the country except two.

Mr.P.Chandrasekaram, Leader of the Upcountry People's Front said that the forthcoming general election has provided an opportunity to the people to rescue the country from disaster. The present PA government should be thrown out if new era with peace and economic stability is to dawn in the island, he said.

Meanwhile the major political parties, the ruling People's Alliance, the main opposition United National Party and the Marxist Janata Vimukthi Peramuna would commence submitting their lists of candidates contesting the forthcoming general elections from Monday at various district secretariats in the country, said sources.

The lead candidates of PA in districts other than Colombo would submit their lists of candidates from Wednesday. The PA would hand over it lists of candidates for the Colombo district on Friday and Saturday this week, said Mr.D.M.Jayaratne, general secretary of the PA.

The UNP would start handing over its lists of candidates from Monday. In the meantime the names of the Tamil candidates to be included in the UNP list for Colombo district would be known Monday, party sources said. Discussions are now being held with various Tamil groups in Colombo in this regard, UNP Deputy Leader and former parliamentarian Mr.Karu Jayasuriya said. Mr.Karu Jayasuriya is to lead the Colombo district UNP candidates at the forthcoming general election.

Mr.V.Anandasangaree, Senior Vice President of the TULF, Mr.Selvam Adaikalanathan, TELO leader, Mr.R.Sampanthan, Secretary General of the TULF, Mr.Joseph Pararajasingham of TULF and Mr.K.Chandra Nehru of TULF would lead the Tamil parties alliance in the districts of Jaffna, Vanni, Trincomalee, Batticaloa and Amparai respectively at the forthcoming general election, according to the MOU signed by these parties Saturday. The Tamil parties alliance would contest the forthcoming general election under the Tamil United Liberation Front banner with its "Rising Sun" as their election symbol.

Meanwhile Sri Lanka's Commissioner General of Elections has requested an organization affiliated to the European Union to send a team to monitor the general elections. Election officials said that they expect a favourable response to their request within next few days.

 

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