Majority of Sri Lanka’s ruling SLPP party in favour of Alahapperuma as President, Premadasa as PM

Ranil Wickremesinghe elected new Sri Lanka president, gets support from Rajapaksas’ SLPP

World News

Ranil Wickremesinghe defeated Dullas Alahapperuma, a rebel leader of the ruling Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) who is backed by the Opposition, and was elected as the new President of the island nation Wednesday.

Acting President Ranil Wickremesinghe will replace Gotabaya Rajapaksa who fled the country and resigned after public anger over the country’s worst economic crisis exploded on the streets 10 days ago.

The bulk of Wickremesinghe’s support came from the Rajapaksas’ discredited SLPP.

Ranil Wickremesinghe got 134 votes, Dullas Alahapperuma got 82 votes and Anura Kumara Dissanayake of the Leftist Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) got three votes.

In the House of 225, 113 seats were needed in favour of the candidate. But, only 223 members cast their votes while two were not present. Further, there were four invalid votes.

The voting process was smooth and orderly and was live broadcast on Sri Lankan parliament television.

Former Sri Lankan PM Mahinda Rajapaksa and his son Namal Rajapaksa, who were in hiding for the last few days, came to the parliament and cast their vote.

On the eve of the vote, Opposition leader and Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) candidate Sajith Premadasa had decided to withdraw from the presidential race and support Alahapperuma.

Alahapperuma, who belongs to Mahinda Rajapaksa’s party SLPP and was information minister for mass media, had emerged as the Opposition’s candidate.

Wickremesinghe, who has been six times Prime Minister earlier, has indicated that it is the economy, not reforming the executive presidency, that is his main concern.

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