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SRI LANKAN PARLIAMENT TO ELECT NEW PRESIDENT ON JULY 20

A new president for Sri Lanka will be elected on July 20, 5 days after parliament reconvenes. President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has said he will resign on Wednesday.

Sri Lanka President Gotabaya Rajapaksa signed his resignation letter on Monday and the Speaker will publicly announce it to the nation on 13 July.

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe will be sworn in as the President for a temporary period till a new President is selected by the parliament, the report added.

Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena. Image Courtesy: Facebook

“Nominations for the next president will be presented to parliament on 19 July. On 20 July parliament will vote to elect a new president,” Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena said in a statement.

Meanwhile, a tweet share by The Morning said that the country’s main Parliamentary Opposition, the Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB), hopes to nominate its Leader Sajith Premadasa for the position.

Speculation was rife on Monday that Rajapaksa had already left the island nation.

However, these reports were rejected by senior sources close to the President who confirmed that Rajapaksa was still in the country and was protected by the Armed Forces.

Just before the 9 July riots, Rajapaksa was evacuated from the President’s House in Fort by the security forces and was protected on a naval vessel within the territorial waters of the country for security reasons.

Sri Lanka, a country of 22 million people, is under the grip of an unprecedented economic turmoil, the worst in seven decades, leaving millions struggling to buy food, medicine, fuel and other essentials.

Tens of thousands have taken to the streets in recent months, calling for the country’s leaders to resign over accusations of economic mismanagement. They blame the Rajapaksa family for the crisis.

Schools have been suspended and fuel has been limited to essential services. Patients are unable to travel to hospitals due to the fuel shortage and food prices are soaring.

In several major cities, including Colombo, hundreds are forced to stand in line for hours to buy fuel, sometimes clashing with police and the military as they wait.

The country, with an acute foreign currency crisis that resulted in foreign debt default, had announced in April that it is suspending nearly $7 billion foreign debt repayment due for this year out of about $25 billion due through 2026. Sri Lanka’s total foreign debt stands at $51 billion.

With inputs from agencies

Published By Odoh Dominic Chukwuemeka

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