Ranil Wickremesinghe as new president after high-voltage political drama

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.

Highlights:

  • 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’.

Who has been elected as the new President of Sri Lanka?
A) Dullas Alahaperuma
B) Ranil Wickremesinghe
C) Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna
D) Sajith Premadasa