COLOMBO, July 20 – Sri Lanka’s parliament today elected Acting President Ranil Wickremesinghe as its new President.
Ranil secured a total of 134 votes from the 223 parliament members who had voted. Two members had abstained from voting while four votes were declared invalid, local media reported.
The voting to appoint a new President, to replace Gotabaya Rajapaksa who resigned from his post after fleeing the country following a nationwide uprising against him, began at 10 this morning. The Secretary General of Parliament acted as the Returning officer in the secret ballot to vote the president.
The Parliament is expected to meet again on July 27th.
Meanwhile, an architect in the city who spoke to Weekly Echo said while there was still some opposition to the choice of Ranil as president, with many pointing out his link with the Rajapaksas and the possibility that he will protect them, many were also appreciative of his experience.
He has been in the forefront of ongoing negotiations in the international front to get the assistance for Sri Lanka, which has been facing an economic crisis, with fuel, food and medicine shortages affecting a good deal of its population.
“He is qualified and experienced to handle this sort of problems. All others are new to this work and will need time to study and take decisions as a president.
“Ranil may not completely let down the people who brought him in (the Rajapaksas) but he will certainly do justice to his work.”