Ranil Wickremesinghe as new president after high-voltage political drama

New President of Sri Lanka: Acting President Ranil Wickremesinghe was  elected as Sri Lanka's new President by Parliament on 20 July 2022.


  • The 73-year-old six-time prime minister was elected as the new Sri Lankan President after receiving 134 votes, while his competitor SLPP parliamentarian Dullas Alahaperuma received 82 votes.
  • The National People's Power (NPP) leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake received three votes.
  • The new president will have a mandate to serve out the rest of Rajapaksa’s term, which ends in November 2024.
  • Wickremesinghe had been sworn in as the interim President of Sri Lanka earlier on July 15 in place of Gotabaya Rajapaksa who submitted his resignation from the post.
  • Gotabaya Rajapaksa, fled the country and resigned after a popular uprising against his government for mismanaging the economy.

Key Facts:

  • This is for the first time in 44 years that Sri Lanka’s parliament has directly elect a president.
  • In 1982, 1988, 1994, 1999, 2005, 2010, 2015 and 2019 presidents were elected by popular vote.
  • The only previous occasion when the presidency became vacant mid-term was in 1993, when Ranasinghe Premadasa was assassinated.
  • DB Wijetunga was unanimously endorsed by parliament to run the balance of Premadasa’s term.

India's support to Sri Lanka:

  • India has promised to continue support to Sri Lanka
  • The Indian envoy in Sri Lanka acknowledged the election of Ranil Wickremesinghe as the President of Sri Lanka and promised continued support for ‘stability and economic recovery through democratic values’.