(LANKAPUVATH | COLOMBO) –A special gazette was published today (July 20), officially declaring the election of Ranil Wickremesinghe to the office of President.
The communiqué was issued by Secretary-General of Parliament Dhammika Dasanayake, pursuant to Section 17 of the Presidential Elections (Special Provisions) Act, No. 2 of 1981.
Earlier today, Sri Lanka’s 225-member parliament voted Wickremesinghe in as the 8th Executive President of the country.
Out of the 223 votes cast by the members, four were declared invalid. Two members, namely MPs Selvaraja Gajendran and G.G. Ponnambalam, had abstained from voting.
Wickremesinghe was elected to the office of President with a total of 134 votes, while his main opponent SLPP’s dissident MP Dullas Alahapperuma was polled second with 82 votes. National People’s Power leader MP Anura Kumara Dissanayake managed to secure only 03 votes.
President-elect Wickremesinghe is slated to take oaths at the parliament complex tomorrow morning (July 21).
Wickremesinghe became caretaker president last week after former President Gotabaya Rajapaksa fled the country on a military plane to the Maldives and then took a commercial flight to Singapore.
The 73-year-old has held the office of prime minister six times although he never completed a term. His latest and shortest term in office as the prime minister was when former President Gotabaya Rajapaksa appointed him to the position on July 13 this year, after his brother Mahinda Rajapaksa was forced to step down amidst growing public agitation over economic mismanagement and corruption allegations.