The Election Commission (EC) yesterday (11), approved a request made by Opposition Leader, Sajith Premadasa to change the name of the political alliance called Ape Jathika Peramuna to Samagi Janabalawegaya to contest the upcoming General Election likely to be held in April this year.
Premadasa will lead the new alliance during the election, while United National Front Parliamentarian, Ranjith Maddumabandara will be General Secretary. Premadasa has already been appointed as its Prime Ministerial candidate.
The Ape Jathika Peramuna had applied to change its name to the current one on 2 February. The Commission approved the name change on 6 February.
The symbol of the new alliance will be the ‘Heart.’
Senaka Silva who was the Chairman of the Ape Jathika Peramuna has been appointed as Vice Chairman of the Samagi Janabalawegaya.
This would be the first time a UNP-led alliance is contesting a General Election sans the symbol of the ‘Elephant.’
Meanwhile, Legal Secretary of the UNP, Nissanka Nanayakkara in a letter to the Commission requested not to register the alliance named, Samagi Jathika Balawegaya as it translates to ‘United National Power’, which abbreviates to the acronym UNP which is the same as that of the UNP, thus having the same acronym will have a detrimental effect on the United National Party, he argued.