Dec 25, Colombo: Sri Lanka's main opposition United National Party (UNP) parliamentarian Dr. Harsha de Silva has refused to contest as the chief ministerial candidate of the party at the Western Provincial Council election next year.
UNP National Leader Ranil Wickremasinghe had proposed Dr. de Silva's name to the party's Leadership Council to lead the party at the Western Provincial Council election that is to be held next year.
UNP sources say that Wickremasinghe has met with Dr. de Silva few days back and informed of him of the proposal to name him as the UNP's chief ministerial candidate. Several other UNP parliamentarians had also been present at the meeting.
However, Dr. de Silva has turned down the proposal saying he was not prepared to contest at the Western Provincial Council election.
Wickremasinghe on the other hand has said that the matter needs to be further discussed with Dr. de Silva and the Leadership Council.
The Western Provincial Council and Southern Provincial Council are expected to be dissolved later this month and the polls are likely to be held in March next year.
The UNP is currently engaged in preparing the candidates' lists for the two provincial councils and party sources say that many party organizers will contest at the forthcoming provincial council polls.