Ranil  Eyes Presidency with “Grand Alliance”

Ranil Eyes Presidency with “Grand Alliance”

Sri Lanka’s President Ranil Wickremesinghe has held two important meetings and hinted at a coalition to bolster his campaign. Controversial Ravi Karunanayake will be playing a lead role in putting the “Grand Alliance” together

Secret Strategy Session: The first closed-door meeting, chaired by Wickremesinghe himself, brought together key UNP figures like Harin Fernando, Ruwan Wijewardene, Ravi Karunanayake, and Manusha Nanayakkara. Sagala Ratnayake, another crucial member, was absent due to an overseas trip. This strategic session focused on the logistics and approach for a potential presidential campaign, with an eight-member team assigned specific tasks like planning and networking. Sources within the UNP dubbed this group the “high command,” highlighting their central role in the campaign strategy.

Resolution for a “Grand Alliance”: Immediately following the first meeting, a larger gathering was held on the ground floor of the Presidential Secretariat. Again chaired by Wickremesinghe, this session included all participants from the initial meeting, along with eight additional individuals. Here, a significant development unfolded – after appeals from at least four speakers, a resolution was passed urging Wickremesinghe to run for president.

Twist in the Tale: Interestingly, Wickremesinghe’s candidacy wouldn’t be under the sole banner of the UNP. Instead, he plans to lead a wider “Grand Alliance” encompassing other political parties. This move prompted some UNP members to view him as a “national candidate” or even a “non-party candidate,” hinting at their campaign theme.


Finding Allies: Last year, Nimal Lanza, an SLPP parliamentarian at the time, reportedly garnered support from 29 party members for Wickremesinghe. He even formed the New Alliance, led by Anura Priyadarshana Yapa. The upcoming rally in Jaela on January 27 will be a crucial test for the New Alliance, revealing how many parliamentarians from various parties, including the SLPP, would openly back Wickremesinghe’s candidacy.

Uncertainties Remain: Wickremesinghe’s path to the presidency is paved with potential hurdles. The success of his Grand Alliance strategy and the commitment of pledged allies remain uncertain. Only time will tell if his political gamble pays off and secures him the coveted office.

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