What Next For The Troubled Economy If President Gotabaya Rajapaksa Resigns

New Delhi: Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, who fled his official residence in the capital Saturday, according to the news agency AFP has agreed to resign on Wednesday, July 13,  after thousands of protesters stormed his official residence.  Parliament Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena announced the move late Saturday night after he wrote to the President following the all-party meeting of leaders that demanded his resignation.

The party leaders are also looking for the immediate resignation of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe to make way for Abeywardena to become acting president until Parliament appointed a successor. Wickremesinghe had offered to resign from his post on Saturday after the massive protest emerged in the country.

Also READ | Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa To Resign On July 13: Parliament Speaker | Top Developments

He took to Twitter and said, “To ensure the continuation of the Government including the safety of all citizens, I accept the best recommendation of the Party Leaders today, to make way for an All-Party Government. To facilitate this, I will resign as Prime Minister.” 

Rajapaksa’s sudden departure after months of protest and violence has raised questions about the future of the crisis-hit island nation.

What does Sri Lankan Constitution state if President resigns?

The Constitution of Sri Lanka states that if a situation arises where the office of the President is vacant prior to the expiration of his term of office, Parliament shall elect the President from one of its members, according to an NDTV report. The elected President will continue to hold office for the rest of the period of the term of the office of the resigning President.

How soon the selection takes place?

Such a process gets underway within a month of the President’s resignation.

What is the process of selecting the new President?

Ideally, the Parliament should convene within three days of the President’s resignation. It is when the Secretary-General of Parliament informs the Parliament about the President’s resignation. In case more than one person is nominated for the position, there will be a secret ballot, and the person should be elected by an absolute majority of votes cast, the report mentioned.

What is the situation before the selection of the new President?

Going by the presidential line of succession in Sri Lanka, the next person in line to become President for the period will be the Prime Minister. PM Ranil Wickremesinghe could take up as the Acting President for less than a month until the Parliament elects a new President. The Prime Minister may need to appoint one of the other ministers of the Cabinet in his place, if needed.

However, the leaders of the majority parties who met on Saturday evening decided to appoint Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena as the temporary President until an all-party government is formed, news agency IANS reported.