The presidential candidate of the United National Party (UNP) will be an educated person who can be trusted to run the country responsibly, UNP backbencher MP Hesha Withanage said.
Addressing a press conference held at Temple Trees earlier today (8 July), the MP said that UNP’s Presidential candidate will be someone who is aware of the socioeconomic scope of the country and is also proficient in dealing with the world outside.
“In a country where illiterate individuals who use their fingerprint for a signature were brought into Parliament, we tell Mr. [Former President Mahinda] Rajapaksa that the President of the country will be someone who holds an internationally accepted degree unlike the unqualified degree holders in the Rajapaksa camp,” Withanage said.
MP Withanage further said that the Opposition is lost and confused at present without a proper presidential candidate.
Asked whether Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe will not be the candidate of the UNP, Withanage said that the party leader is politically mature enough to take a suitable decision at an appropriate hour.
“The Prime Minister is keeping the ticket in the pocket to use when appropriate. In the past, we had some different opinions about the presidential candidate, but we have all now taken a decision unanimously,” the MP added.
In a separate press conference held yesterday, Withanage said that the UNP candidate will be one of the following three: Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, Speaker Karu Jayasuriya and Housing Minister Sajith Premadasa.