MADRID, July 20 (EUROPA PRESS) –
Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, who has held the post of interim president since last week after Gotabaya Rajapaksa fled the country, was elected the new president by parliamentarians this Wednesday despite protesters calling for his resignation.
Wickremesinghe got 134 votes, beating the other two candidates, former Education Minister Dullas Alahapperume and left-wing National People’s Power MP Anura Kumara Dissanayake, who received 82 and three votes respectively, according to Sri Lankan newspaper ‘Daily’.
The vote came about a week after Rajapaksa left the country for Singapore, with a prior stopover in the Maldives, amid massive demonstrations to demand his resignation due to the very serious economic and social crisis the island is going through.
Wickremesinghe was sworn in as interim president on Friday, having been chosen by Rajapaksa himself after pledging he would step down once an inclusive government is formed following the president’s resignation, which did not assuage the mood of protesters who they are also demanding that the prime minister leave his post.
Rajapaksa caved in after months of protests over rising prices and shortages of food, medicine and fuel, which has left the tiny Asian island facing its worst economic crisis since gaining independence from British colonial rule. The popular revolution has brought down the Rajapaksa family after Gotabaya forced his brother Mahinda to resign as prime minister in early May to end the protests.