Ranil Wickremesinghe elected as Sri Lanka President | World News

Six-time Sri Lanka Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe on Wednesday defeated dissident leader Dullas Alahapperuma and leftist Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake in the presidential election to succeed Gotabaya Rajapaksa.

The 73-year-old Sri Lankan leader secured 134 votes in the 225-member House, while his nearest rival Alahapperuma got 82. A candidate had to get at least 113 votes to win the election. Disanayaka got only three votes. After the results were announced, Alahapperuma said he would accept the decision of Parliament.

“It was my effort to support consensus-based policy-making to provide solutions to the deeply suffering population. I believe there is still room for that and I will continue to work to strengthen that effort and work for the people. This is just another milestone in my career. Even now you develop a mindset of listening to the suffering masses.” I think so,” he was quoted as saying by Reuters.

Wickremesinghe will have a mandate to serve out the remainder of Rajapaksa’s term, which ends in November 2024, as Sri Lankans trust new leadership to resolve the acute economic crisis.

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As Wickramasinghe’s candidacy was opposed by many ordinary Sri Lankans, the election result could lead to more protests by people angry at the ruling elite. Alahapperuma is seen as more acceptable to the protesters and opposition parties. However, the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) leader, who has no high-level governance experience, is looking hard at the IMF for a bailout package.

“What does Aragalaya (struggle) mean? For one thing, Aragalaya must meet its primary demand, which is the resignation of Gotabaya Rajapakse. This means that Aragalaya, in one form or another, has to find new ways to win our remaining demands. Unlike Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Ranil is not a populist: he is known to be a ruthless pragmatist. Aragalaya’s I think the immediate concern is the possible legal action against key members,” Chamera was quoted as saying. The protest organizer told Deddua.

Another contestant, Sajith Premadasa, announced his withdrawal of his candidature on Tuesday morning.

“For the greater good of my country and the people I love, I hereby withdraw my candidacy for the post of President. @sjbsrilanka and our alliance and our opposition partners will work hard for @DullasOfficial’s victory,” he tweeted.

For the first time in 44 years, Sri Lanka’s Parliament has directly elected the President. The President of Sri Lanka was elected by popular vote in 1982, 1988, 1994, 1999, 2005, 2010, 2015 and 2019.

A presidential election was necessitated by the forced resignation of Gotabaya Rajapakse, who fled to Singapore amid widespread protests against the government.


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