UNP MPs pooh pooh claim of No Faith Motion against PM | Sunday Observer

UNP MPs pooh pooh claim of No Faith Motion against PM

The United National Party is focused on sorting out its differences and bringing about internal party reform as soon as possible, UNP frontliners and backbenchers told the Sunday Observer this week, dismissing claims that a No Confidence Motion against Prime Minister and Party Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe was even under discussion.

UNP seniors said, earlier the Government parliamentary group had met the Prime Minister and extended their fullest support to him to continue in his post.

Lands and Parliamentary Reforms Minister, Gayantha Karunatilleka told the Sunday Observer, he was unaware of any decision taken to remove Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe from the party leadership. “What is urgent at this juncture is to bring necessary reforms as a party, and for the Government to move forward as a united entity. We should discuss and listen to those who have issues and lay emphasis on how we should secure victory at future elections. If some of those in the party are disappointed or faced any injustices, the party hierarchy should listen to their grievances and take remedial measures,” Karunatilleka added.

The Minister asserted there was no leadership crisis within the party. Denying speculations, Minister Karunatilleka said, so far no discussions had taken place within the party to oust Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe from party leadership.

Discussions are going on within the party to immediately rectify the shortcomings based on the decision given by the people at the recently concluded LG elections. As the country’s biggest political entity, reforms

will be made in all necessary facets of the party as early as possible. In a massive political party such as the UNP, different views may be expressed by partymen at various occasions but that doesn’t mean there is a split within the party. The party has faced similar occasions in the past as well, and may face such issues in the future too. However, everybody should commit themselves to take forward the party without paving the way for any division.

Home Affairs Minister Wajira Abeywardana told the Sunday Observer that according to the 19th Amendment if a No Confidence Motion is moved against the Prime Minister, it would not only affect the Premier but, the entire Government. Therefore, those who attempt to bring a No Confidence Motion should first properly study the 19th Amendment. The Minister said, he does not think that MPs in both camps - those who are for and against the Premier - would extend support to this No Confidence Motion.

Minister Abeywardana said, most UNP Ministers have failed to win their districts at the LG polls. It is not the UNP leader who should be held responsible for this. As the party leader, the Prime Minister provided an opportunity for the partymen to secure victory for the party, but we couldn’t make use of that opportunity. It is our responsibility to execute our policies to benefit the masses. Anybody who thinks the UNP leadership should be changed at this juncture is hatching conspiracies to destroy the party. The UNPers should not fall into this political trap. The Premier would formulate a methodology to take the party forward to suit present day needs.

UNP Matara District MP Buddhika Pathirana, expressing his views said, so far an NCM against the Prime Minister had not been even discussed in the Government Parliamentary group, the UNP Executive Committee or the National Executive Council of the UNP. In fact, the Government parliamentary group met the Prime Minister and extended their fullest support to him, Pathirana said. “Actually, this is an issue raised by the print and social media. At present, there is no leadership crisis in the UNP as highlighted by certain sections of the media. We don’t know what the Opposition is going to do.

Even if the Joint Opposition moves an NCM against the Premier, they would be able to get a maximum of only 55 votes, so that, they are not in a position whatsoever to pass it in Parliament by a majority vote,” he added.

According to MP Pathirana the Premier had unreservedly accepted the fact that some radical changes have to be made within the party and the Government. “All our Parliamentarians, Provincial Councilors, Local Government members and party supporters fully endorse this fact,” Pathirana claimed.

The latest development within the UNP came after State Minister for Irrigation and Puttalam District MP Palitha Range Bandara told a press briefing in his district on February 26 that the party was in need of a total overhaul and issued a call for a change in the leadership. “A Cabinet reshuffle will not resolve the issue,” he claimed.

State Minister Bandara has been a vocal critic of the incumbent UNP leadership in the wake of the party’s defeat at the recently concluded LG polls. He resigned as a Party Organiser soon after the February 10 election.

Meanwhile, UNP Puttalam District Parliamentarian Hector Appuhamy said, there was no legal or moral right to bring a No Confidence Motion against the Party Leader. This was an attempt to create divisions within the party, he said. “UNP members will defeat any such move against the Prime Minister,” he added. He acknowledged that there were some key issues to be sorted out within the party, but these had to be resolved internally.

Meanwhile, the Joint Opposition (JO) has offered its full support for the move against the Prime Minister. 

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