Sri Lanka: Ranil Wickremesinghe wins presidential vote

225 members of House elect leader in secret ballot

By Qadijah Irshad

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Published: Wed 20 Jul 2022, 11:12 AM

Last updated: Wed 20 Jul 2022, 12:04 PM

Ranil Wickremesinghe was voted in as the eighth executive president in crisis-hit Sri Lanka on Wednesday morning, as angry protesters vowed to go on fighting to remove him from office at the Galle Face Green protest site in capital Colombo.

Wickremesinghe won with 134 votes, while his major contender, ruling party MP Dullas Alahapperuma backed by opposition parties and independent MPs, received only 82 votes votes in a secret ballot.

The third candidate Anura Kumara Dissanayake, the leader of the largest leftist party in Sri Lanka received three votes.

Two of the monitory Tamil MPs of 225 Parliamentarians refrained from voting, while four votes were counted as invalid.

Wednesday’s election was the result of Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s resignation a week ago after he fled the country in fear of reprisals following mass protests with protesters overtaking several presidential buildings including the presidential palace and the presidential secretariat.

Wickremesinghe will have a mandate to serve out the rest of Mr Rajapaksa's term, which ends in November 2024.

Six times Prime Minister Wickremesinghe is the longest running leader for the oldest political party in Sri Lanka. His popularity has plunged in the recent and Sri Lankans want him out as he is accused of protecting the corrupt Rajapaksa family that is being held responsible for the nation’s crippling crisis.

“We will go on fighting. The public – Sri Lankans – got together last time to create history. They sent home the Rajapaksas, and once again they will rise to send Ranil home,” said Shakthi Makawita, a 32-year-old protester from the protest site close to the presidential secretariat that they stormed and overtook last week.


The economy in Sri Lanka is bracing for a sharp contraction due to the unavailability of primary inputs for production, an 80 per cent depreciation of the currency since March 2022, a lack of foreign reserves and the country's failure to meet its international debt obligations.

The economic crisis has prompted an acute shortage of essential items like fuel and medicines.

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