New Delhi: Amid financial and political embroil in Sri Lanka, the country’s Parliament will elect a new President on July 20, announced Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena on Monday, reported news agency PTI. The decision was taken during a crucial all-party leaders meeting held earlier in the day. President Mahinda Rajapaksa is formally yet to resign while Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe also said that he will step down from the post once the new government is formed.
The Speaker further said that after receiving Rajapaksa’s resignation on July 13, Parliament will convene on July 15 to announce the vacancy and will reconvene on July 19 to accept the nominations for the post.
A parliamentary ballot will be held on July 20 to elect the new President, the PTI report stated the Speaker Abeywardena as saying.
Following the popular uprising on Saturday, Rajapaksa agreed to step down from the post on the request of the party leader.
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As per the Constitution of Sri Lanka in an event where the President and Prime Minister both resign from their posts, the Speaker will then serve as the acting President for a maximum period of 30 days. The Parliament will elect a new president within 30 days from one of its members, who will hold the office for the remaining two years of the current term of President Gotabaya.
Ranil Wickremesinghe was appointed as the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka by President Rajapaksa after the latter’s elder brother, Mahinda Rajapaksa was forced to resign amidst growing pressure on the government over the mismanagement of the economy.
The cash-strapped island nation witnessed a tumultuous day on Saturday when protesters broke into Rajapaksa’s official residence in Colombo. About 100,000 protesters amassed outside the president’s official residence, demanding Rajapaksa’s resignation.