After Ranil Wickremesinghe was elected President of Sri Lanka, dozens of demonstrators gathered outside the Presidential Secretariat in Colombo on Wednesday.
Ranil Wickremesinghe, the newly elected President of Sri Lanka, stated that he is “in a very tough situation” and that he confronts “huge difficulties ahead” in leading the country out of the country’s catastrophic economic crisis.
“The country is in a very difficult situation, we have big challenges ahead,” Wickremesinghe said after defeating main rival Dullus Alahapperuma, with 134 votes to 82 in the parliamentary vote to become President of the island nation.
Following a secret ballot in Parliament, Sri Lankan MPs elected Ranil Wickremesinghe as the country’s next President. He was elected with 134 votes.
Dullas Alahaperuma of the SLPP earned 82 votes, while Anura Kumara Dissanayake of the National People’s Power (NPP) received three votes.
“The Secretary-General of Parliament announces to the House that Hon. Ranil Wickremesinghe has been elected as the Succeeding President by Parliament,” the Sri Lankan Parliament tweeted.
Wickremesinghe, who has served as Prime Minister six times, was among the forerunners for the President post.
After tens of thousands of angry protestors stormed his official mansion in Colombo last week, Sri Lanka’s ex-President Gotabaya Rajapaksa fled to the Maldives before travelling to Singapore. After exiting the country, Rajapaksa presented his resignation.
Sajith Premadasa, the leading opposition leader, dropped his presidential candidacy on Tuesday, saying he would back rival candidate Dullas Alahapperuma for the office.
Meanwhile, India today explicitly refuted media suggestions that New Delhi was undertaking political measures to influence Sri Lankan officials about the Presidential elections.