Court upholds UNP decision to expel some members

The Court of Appeal has upheld a decision taken by the UNP to expel a group of party members who had worked for another alliance while being part of the UNP.

In July 2020, the UNP announced that it was expelling 54 party members and 97 local government members for having obtained nominations under the Samagi Jana Balawegaya for the General Elections in August 2020.

The Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) thereafter filed a petition against the UNP’s decision to suspend the membership of many members, including Parliamentarian Sajith Premadasa.

However, the Court of Appeal today dismissed the petitions that were filed challenging the United National Party’s decision, upholding the expulsion.

Issuing a statement on the court’s decision, the UNP said it welcomes the ruling which recognises the UNP’s Constitution that rejects any member working for another party while representing the UNP. 

Under the United National Party Constitution, members elected under the UNP ticket by UNP voters must fulfill that mandate in accordance with the Party Constitution. 

When individuals from the Party were dismissed for violating the Party Constitution by actively working for an opposing political party, petitions were filed at the Court of Appeal. 

These petitions have been dismissed, upholding the Party’s decision to expel these members and their subsequent removal from their elected positions by the respective Returning Officers, the party said.

The UNP further said, therefore, it expects all the members elected under their banner to continue to work for the betterment of the Party and their supporters.

Extending an olive branch, the UNP said it once again invites its members who have strayed in the past to return to the party ranks and support the United National Party’s future endeavors. (Colombo Gazette)