Ranil Wickremesinghe defeated Dolas AlahabrumSri Lanka’s rebel leader, Bodogana Peramuna, the opposition-backed ruler, was elected as the new president of the island state on Wednesday.
Acting President Ranil Wickremesinghe He will replace Gotabaya Rajapaksa, who fled the country and resigned after public anger over the country’s worst economic crisis exploded on the streets 10 days ago.
The bulk of Wickremesinghe’s support came from the ill-fated Sierra Leone People’s Party for the Rajapaksas. Immediately after winning the election, the newly elected president said: “I am asking opposition leader Sajith Premadasa and other opposition parties including former presidents Mahinda Rajapaksa and Maithripala Sirisena to work together.”
“We have divided over the past 48 hours. That period is now over. We have to work together now,” he said.
Ranil Wickremesinghe received 134 votes, Dulas Alahabiruma received 82 votes, and Anura Kumara Dissanayake of the leftist Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) received three votes.
In the 225-seat House of Representatives, 113 seats were needed for a candidate. But only 223 members cast their votes while two were not present. Furthermore, there were four invalid votes.
The voting process was smooth and orderly and was broadcast live on Sri Lanka Parliament TV.
Former Sri Lankan Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa and his son Namal Rajapaksa, who have been in hiding for the past few days, came to Parliament and cast their votes.
On the eve of the vote, opposition leader and Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) candidate Sajith Premadasa decided to withdraw from the presidential race and support Alahapperuma.
Alahabiroma, who belongs to Mahinda Rajapaksa, the Sierra Leone People’s Party and was the Minister of Information for the Media, has emerged as an opposition candidate.
Wickremesinghe, who was prime minister six times earlier, noted that the economy, not executive presidency reform, is his main concern.