Sri Lankan parliament to elect new president on July 20

Ranil Wickremesinghe has been sworn in as Sri Lanka's acting president



By AFP

Published: Fri 15 Jul 2022, 11:01 AM

Last updated: Fri 15 Jul 2022, 11:33 AM

An official says that Sri Lankan parliament will elect new president on July 20. In the meanwhile, Ranil Wickremesinghe sworn in as Sri Lanka's acting president.

Sri Lanka's parliament will vote on a new president Wednesday, the speaker's office said Friday following the resignation of Gotabaya Rajapaksa after he was driven out of the country.

Nominations for the post of president will be received on Tuesday and MPs are due to vote the following day, Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardana's office said in a brief statement.

Wickremesinghe, 73, took his oath of office before chief justice Jayantha Jayasuriya, Wickremesinghe's office said in a brief statement.

The resignation of Sri Lanka's president had been accepted earlier today, the crisis-hit country's parliamentary speaker announced, after he fled the country earlier this week and notified him from Singapore that he was stepping down.

The formal declaration makes Gotabaya Rajapaksa -- once known as 'The Terminator' for his ruthless crushing of Tamil rebels -- the first Sri Lankan head of state to resign since it adopted an executive presidency in 1978.

He emailed in his resignation from Singapore after flying to the city-state from the Maldives, where he initially escaped after demonstrators overran his palace at the weekend.

"Gotabaya has legally resigned" with effect from Thursday, speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardana told reporters. "I have accepted the resignation."

Under Sri Lanka's constitution, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe -- whose departure is also being demanded by protesters -- will automatically become acting president until parliament can elect an MP to succeed Rajapaksa for the rest of his term.

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