Q: You have said that you would name separate candidates from the UNP for future elections, apart from the candidates named by the UNP Leadership. Can you elaborate on this issue?
Yes. We hope to name an alternate team apart from those appointed by the Leadership to contest future elections. We are pushed to do this in order to get our party on the winning track. The UNP has been facing defeat for years and nothing has been done to get the party back on track. People are fed up, and so are the supporters.
Q: Do you intend to name such candidates for all future elections?
Right now we only have plans of naming candidates for the Provincial Council and Local Government elections. There are provincial council polls in the cards and, therefore, we plan to gear up for that. As far as the General and Presidential elections are concerned, we have not planned anything. There is time for it. Right now our main concern is to strengthen the UNP at the Local Government and Provincial Council level.
We also need to strengthen our party at grassroots level. We have lost voters. Many UNP supporters do not exercise their franchise. They have given up the party and do not vote. There are many more who have shifted from the UNP either to the government or other political parties.
We have to win them back. The UNP should not lose its identity. Our supporters have waited long enough, but nothing has been done by the Leadership to retain the members.
Q: Do you think the party would approve or support what you are planning to do?
I do not know. But we have the support of several UNP MPs and other members who love the party. We have the support of those who have a spine and the courage to stand up during difficult times. Therefore, we do not need to depend on the support of others. Most importantly, we are not doing this for anyone but the party.
Q: But what if the UNP Leadership tries to foil your initiatives? What if it initiates a disciplinary action?
Those are not our concern. Our concern is to protect the party. Let them do whatever they want. Let them take action against us. Let them suspend us from the party or even strip us from the party membership. All this will be of no use if they still cannot make the party victorious. The UNP’s vote base has reduces to a mere 230,000. We need to win back the support and the one-time UNP strongholds if we are to be victorious. Nominate