NEW DELHI: Ranil Wickremesinghe on Wednesday won the Sri Lankan presidential elections, succeeding Gotabaya Rajapaksa to become the 8th president of the country.
He will be in office until 2024 and is also presently serving as Sri Lanka‘s acting president.
Just after he was elected as the new president, Ranil Wickremesinghe, who has served as the prime minister six times before, said, “the country is in a very difficult situation, and that we have big challenges ahead.”
The 225-member parliament gave 134 votes to Wickremesinghe and 82 to Alahapperuma. A third candidate, Anura Kumara Dissanayaka, got just three votes.
Ruling party lawmaker Dullas Alahapperuma, was more acceptable to the protesters and the opposition but did not have any top-level governance experience in a country.
The win for Wickremesinghe, opposed by many ordinary Sri Lankans, could lead to more demonstrations by people.
Hundreds of Sri Lankans continue to queue up at petrol pumps across the debt-ridden country every day amid fuel shortage. The economic crisis which is the worst in Sri Lanka’s history has prompted an acute shortage of essential items like fuel, food and medicine.
(With inputs from agencies)