Struggling Sri Lanka lawmakers pick new president to replace ousted leader : NPR


Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe gestures during an interview with The Associated Press in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Saturday June 11, 2022.

Eranga Jayawardena/AP


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Eranga Jayawardena/AP

Struggling Sri Lanka lawmakers pick new president to replace ousted leader : NPR

Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe gestures during an interview with The Associated Press in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Saturday June 11, 2022.

Eranga Jayawardena/AP

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — Sri Lankan lawmakers on Wednesday chose six-time Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe as president to succeed the ousted leader who fled the country in a vote that risks reigniting political unrest in the country. struggling island nation in South Asia.

Former President Gotabaya Rajapaksa appointed Wickremesinghe as prime minister in May, hoping to bring stability to a country mired in its worst economic crisis in memory. Wickremesinghe became interim president after Rajapaksa fled the country last week and resigned via email.

Wickremesinghe, 73, is a seasoned politician with extensive experience in diplomatic and international affairs. He led crucial talks on an economic bailout with the International Monetary Fund and was backed by members of the splintered ruling coalition. But he is unpopular among voters who see him as a holdover from Rajapaksa’s government.

The vote of 134 MPs put Wickremesinghe ahead of former government minister Dullas Alahapperuma, who received 82 votes. The Marxist candidate had three.


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