Ranil Wickremesinghe, interim president of Sri Lanka, was elected president on Wednesday July 20 by an overwhelming majority by parliament to succeed Gotabaya Rajapaksa, who resigned last week after fleeing his bankrupt country.
Six-time prime minister Wickremesinghe won 134 votes, according to official results, against his main challenger Dullas Alahapperuma 82 and left-wing candidate Anura Dissanayake just three.
“Ranil Wickremesinghe has been elected as the eighth executive president under the Constitution,” the secretary general of parliament said after the count was completed.
“Our divisions are over”
“Our divisions are now over,” Mr Wickremesinghe said shortly after being elected, in a speech to parliament. Ranil Wickremesinghe’s victory, which many Sri Lankans oppose, could lead to further protests against the ruling elite, after months of severe shortages of fuel, food and medicine, several protesters have said.
His main rival, Dullas Alahapperuma, a member of the ruling party, was better liked by protesters and the opposition, but he had no experience of high governance, in a country that has almost no dollars for imports. and which desperately needs a bailout from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).