May 21, Colombo: The United Bhikku Front, the Buddhist monks' organization affiliated to the major opposition United National Party (UNP) said in a press conference yesterday that they would support Ven. Maduluwawe Sobhitha Thero as the common candidate of the opposition.
Addressing the press briefing United Bhikku Front adviser Ven. Girambe Ananda Thero said that the common candidate needed to amend the Constitution to abolish the executive presidency and to transfer political powers to the parliament.
The Thero also said that there was no problem if the President Mahinda Rajapaksa would do the same.
However, the National Leader of the UNP Ranil Wickremasinghe has reportedly told the parliamentary group meeting Tuesday that contrary to the common perception, Ven. Maduluwawe Sobhitha Thera would not contest as the common candidate.
The Bhikkus further said that another non-party common candidate would be sought if Sobhitha Thero would not consent to contest as the common candidate of a future Presidential.
The Opposition Leader has said that the UNP is likely to field a candidate from the party at the next Presidential election.