Ranil Wickremesinghe is appointed president of Sri Lanka after a parliamentary vote – The Mazatlán Post

Thursday 21 July, 2022
2 mins read


This Wednesday, during a secret vote, Ranil Wickremesinghe was appointed President of Sri Lanka by Parliament after former president Gotabaya Rajapaksa was forced to leave office and leave the country in the midst of a wave of demonstrations due to the economic crisis.

The president of the Parliament, Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena, announced that Wickremesinghe obtained 134 supports from the 225 parliamentarians who had to decide the future head of state of a nation mired in deep political and financial instability.

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Dullas Alahapperuma, who also had the support of a part of the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) and the opposition leader Sajith Premadasa, won 82 votes while the third candidate in the running, Anura Kumara Dissanayake, of the coalition leftist NPP, only obtained three supports.

Wickremesinghe asks the rest of the parties for collaboration

“Our country is in an economic crisis and we have to introduce a new program. I especially ask Dullas and Anura Dissanayake,” Wickremesinghe told Parliament after the results of the vote were announced.

The politician, who has emphasized his presence in the Chamber for 45 years and has been Prime Minister five times, asked both candidates and other politicians to work together to get the country out of the crisis.

“Now, the time for our divisions is over. I am ready to talk with all of you,” said the new Sri Lankan president.

The politician will lead the country until 2024, thus completing the mandate of the deposed Gotabaya Rajapaksa, at the helm of a government that will have to resume talks with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on a possible financial rescue.

The politician initially accepted the post of Prime Minister of the Rajapaksa Government to replace the former leader’s brother, Mahinda Rajapaksa, who was forced to leave his post on May 9 when his supporters attacked protesters in Colombo.

Protesters reject appointment

Wickremesinghe was supported in today’s vote by a faction of the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP), the deposed president, although his appointment has infuriated the protesters who have been calling for his resignation since he became prime minister, and have threatened protests if elected.

“The entire country did not want Ranil to be elected, because he is a person who has been rejected. He did not come to Parliament thanks to the vote of the Sri Lankans, but because Gotabaya Rajapaksa wanted to give him a chance,” Rifas Mohamed Farook, one of the the demonstrators of the encampment in Galle Park in Colombo, the epicenter of the protests.

“Now the majority (of the protesters) thinks that we will not be able to leave, we have to protest more until he leaves” power, Farook said.

The island country has suffered for months from shortages of medicine, food and fuel, caused in part by the great indebtedness wrong government policies, and the impact of the Easter attacks and the pandemic on tourism.

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This situation gave rise to protests throughout the island from the end of March, when thousands of people began to take to the streets to demand the resignation of Rajapaksa and that on July 9 culminated in the break-in of the official residences of Rajapaksa and Wickremesinghe, forcing the president to abandon his post and the country.

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Source: from El Sol de Mazatlán | Noticias Locales, Policiacas, sobre México, Sinaloa y el Mundo – frontpage on 2022-07-20 08:36:11

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