ISLAMABAD, July 21(Alliance News): Sri Lanka’s six-time former Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has been elected as the country’s new president.
According to the foreign media, Ranil Wickramasinghe has taken over the presidency in place of Gotabaya Rajapakse, who resigned last week and left the crisis-ridden country.
According to the official results, Ranil Wickramasinghe got 134 votes in the 225-seat house and thus secured a simple majority, his main rival Dulce Alhaprumah got 82 votes and leftist candidate Anura Dassanayake got only 3 votes.
On Wednesday, MLAs entered the polling booth one by one to vote for the candidate of their choice.
Parliamentary Secretary General Dhammika Dasanayaka said members were reminded that it was an offense to take a picture of the ballot paper or show it to others.
It should be noted that previous elections in Sri Lanka were marred by allegations of corruption and vote buying.
Ranil Wickremesinghe will take over the presidency of the country of just over 20 million people at a time when the country is in dire straits of purchasing dollars and acute shortages of foodstuffs as well as fuel and medicine.
Hundreds of armed police and army troops were present outside the parliament, but there were no counter-protesters.
Rajapakse was considered an ally of the former president, so the protesters had a soft spot for Dulce Ilhaporuma and his chances of victory were also shown, although he has not been appointed to any major post till date.
In the 225-member Parliament, Ranil Wickremesinghe had the support of Rajapakse’s SLPP, which has the largest number of seats in the Parliament, and this support is the reason for his victory today.
It should be remembered that Sri Lanka is facing the worst economic crisis in history, against which protests have been going on for several months.
The protests intensified last week and people surrounded the president’s palace demanding his resignation, after which Gotabaya Rajapaksa resigned and moved to Singapore.
Rajapakse’s departure from power marks the start of the downfall of Sri Lanka’s powerful ruling party that has been in power for two decades, with his brother and finance minister also resigning.
Ranil Wickremesinghe, after taking over as Acting President, declared a state of emergency and handed over all powers to the law enforcement agencies and last week ordered the troops to evacuate the buildings from the protesters who entered the government buildings. was
While talking about the success of Ranil Wickramasinghe in Parliament, an opposition member of assembly said that the members of the assembly considered the tough stand against the protesters as a good omen and decided to support Wickramasinghe.
Political commentator Kaushal Perera admitted that despite winning only one seat in the 2020 elections, 73-year-old Ranil Wickramasinghe had some edge in these parliamentary elections.
They said that Ranil Wickramasinghe had won the trust of the middle class to some extent by restoring the supply of some important products including gas and had also cleared government buildings of protesters while proving his competence.