The President has decided not to name a chief ministerial candidate from the UPFA for the North Central and Sabaragamuwa Provincial Council elections and to leave the post open, sources from the SLFP headquarters said.
The President has made the decision due to the political monopoly created by North Central Province Chief Minister Berty Premalal Dissanayake and Sabaragamuwa Province Chief Minister Mahipala Herath in their respective provinces by holding the post for many years and the fact that many development projects in the areas have not shown any progress. It has therefore been decided to introduce new faces to these provinces.
The President has also received many complaints that Chief Minister Dissanayake was using his political powers in the province against other government members to help his son, Deputy Minister Duminda Dissanayake’s political future and that Chief Minister Herath was doing the same for his son UPFA MP Kanaka Herath.
The President has therefore asked MP Namal Rajapaksa to recommend several young members from his Tharunyata Hetak movement to contest at the provincial council elections. Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa has also been asked to ensure that popular military personnel are included in the list of UPFA candidates to contest at the provincial council elections.
Meanwhile, Deputy Buddha Sasana Minister M.K.D.S. Gunawardena has asked the President to appoint him as the government’s chief ministerial candidate at the Eastern provincial Council elections.