Sri Lanka's ruling party on Friday said it would nominate interim President Ranil Wickremesinghe for the presidency when Parliament elects a new president on July 20.
In a statement, General Secretary of the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) Sagara Kariyawasam said that the SLPP would nominate Wickremesinghe and support him in the vote.
Earlier Friday, Sri Lanka's Parliament Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena said that a new president would be elected through the Parliament on July 20 following the resignation of Gotabaya Rajapaksa.
Wickremesinghe was sworn in as interim President till the election on July 20.
"Under these circumstances, the constitutional procedure of appointing a new president will now be activated. Until this constitutional procedure is over, according to the constitution the Prime Minister will function in the capacity of the President overseeing functions, duties, and powers of the office of the President," the speaker said, according to Xinhua News Agency.
Rajapaksa, who flew from the Maldives, arrived in Singapore on board a Saudia Airlines flight on Thursday evening, media reports said. According to earlier reports, Rajapaksa and his wife were expected to stay in Singapore. As per various media reports, Rajapaksa and his wife, who took Saudia Airlines flight SV788 to Singapore, are now expected to travel to Jeddah.
Rajapaksa, 73, had gone into hiding after crowds of protesters stormed his residence on July 9, and he had announced that he would hand over his resignation letter on Wednesday.
Subsequently, the speaker appointed Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe as the interim President of Sri Lanka.
Rajapaksa's resignation comes after thousands of people stormed the President's House in Fort on Saturday. Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe also announced he would step down amid the ongoing protests.
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