Ranil back to Parliament via National list | Sunday Observer

Ranil back to Parliament via National list

20 June, 2021

United National Party (UNP) Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe will be sworn in as a Member of Parliament on June 23.

Though the UNP secured one Parliamentary National List seat at the 2020 General Election 2020, it remained vacant until a decision was made on who should occupy it. The decision to nominate Wickremesinghe as the UNP National List Parliamentarian was arrived at unanimously at the UNP Working Committee meeting on May 31.

The UNP has informed the Election Commission regarding the appointment to its National List MP seat in Parliament. A letter informing the UNP’s decision to name former Prime Minister Wickremesinghe to occupy the vacant National List MP seat was handed over to the Election Commission on Wednesday (16) by UNP General Secretary Palitha Range Bandara and former Minister Sagala Ratnayaka.

The Election Commission has issued an Extraordinary Gazette notification, declaring Wickremesinghe as a Member of Parliament. UNP Leader Wickremesinghe had been called upon by a number of parties to be nominated for the National List seat to fill the gap left by the absence of a strong Opposition in Parliament. He has been a Member of Parliament from 1977 to 2019 and has served as Prime Minister five times.

Born to a wealthy political family, Wickremesinghe was educated at the Royal College, Colombo and graduated from the University of Ceylon and qualified as an Advocate from the Ceylon Law College in 1972.

Entering active politics in the mid-1970s with the United National Party, he was first elected to Parliament from the Biyagama electorate at the 1977 Parliamentary election and was appointed Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, by his uncle President J.R. Jayewardene. He was, thereafter, appointed Minister of Youth Affairs and Employment, becoming the youngest Cabinet Minister in Sri Lanka.

In 1989, President Ranasinghe Premadasa appointed Wickremesinghe as the Minister of Industry, Science and Technology and Leader of the House.

He succeeded D.B. Wijetunga as the Prime Minister in 1993 following the assassination of President Premadasa and Wijetunga’s succession to the Presidency. He was appointed

Leader of the Opposition in November 1994 following the assassination of Gamini Dissanayake during the campaign for the 1994 Presidential Election.

On January 8, 2015, Wickremesinghe was appointed Prime Minister by the then President Maithripala Sirisena after the latter secured victory at the 2015 Presidential Election. Wickremesinghe’s alliance, the United National Front for Good Governance won the 2015 Parliamentary Election with 106 seats.

Although it fell short of an outright majority, Wickremesinghe was re-elected as Prime Minister with over 35 Sri Lanka Freedom Party members joining his Cabinet. He contested the Parliamentary elections in 2020, but failed to secure a seat in Parliament.