Former Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has decided to step down as the leader of the United National Party (UNP), after remaining at the helm for 26 years, it was reported.
His announcement on Monday came almost a week after the August 5 parliamentary elections, where the UNP, one of Sri Lanka’s oldest political parties, did not manage to win any seat.
Addressing the media on Monday evening, UNP General Secretary Akila Viraj Kariyawasam said that Wickremesinghe has already apprised party seniors of his intention to quit the leadership post, reports the Daily Mirror newspaper.
The UNP leader mentioned seniors Ravi Karunanayake, Vajira Abeywardene, Daya Gamage and Kariyawasam as possible successors.
He said the working committee of the party will meet on Friday to discuss about party reforms.
Wickremesinghe took over as party leader in 1994 after from former President D.B. Wijetunga had who resigned.
He then went on to serve as the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka on three occasions.