The UNP leader had convened a meeting of party seniors tomorrow (21) to discuss this matter as well as the matter of selecting a presidential candidate.
Sources from the PM's office say that Kabir Hashim, Malik Samarawickrema and Mangala Samaraweera, who are backing Sajith Premadasa, have been invited for the meeting as well.
Meanwhile, the PM has made inquiries into a letter signed by 52 MPs, which had urged to expedite the naming of a presidential candidate.
When the PM had talked about this with several MPs who had signed, they have responded that the letter was signed to expedite the process as it was rumoured that the PM was not going to contest the presidential election and
that an outsider from the party was going to named as candidate again.
Battle for PM candidacy
According to a senior UNP MP, a battle is stirring within the UNP with regard to the PM candidacy as it is said that incumbent President Maithripala Sirisena allied with Sajith Premadasa and had sought the prime ministerial candidacy at the next election.
It is also said that the present situation has prevailed with rumours citing that certain names in the above mentioned MP list of signatures, were added at the request of the president.
The list of signatures are as follows :
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