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Sri Lanka: Speaker to convene Parliament on Saturday, begin process to appoint new President

For the time being, as per the Constitution, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe will function as the acting President until the appointment of a new President.

Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa. (File/Reuters)

A day after Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa sent his resignation by email, Speaker of Sri Lankan Parliament Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena officially confirmed on Friday that he has received President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s resignation letter and that he intends to complete the legislative process to elect a new President in the next 7 days.

He said that he intends to convene the Sri Lankan Parliament on Saturday, July 16, to commence the parliamentary process for the appointment of a new President.

For the time being, he said that as per the Constitution, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe will function as the acting President until the appointment of a new President.

On Thursday night, as he received the email, a statement issued by the office of Abeywardena had said: “The Speaker wishes to inform that an official statement on this would be made tomorrow (Friday) after the verification process and legal formalities.”

On Friday morning, Abeywardena said, “My intention is to conduct the necessary parliamentary affairs to elect a new President as per the provisions of the Constitution as soon as possible. I request all party leaders to extend their support for this purpose.”


The Speaker also requested all political parties and the Parliament to uphold democracy during this period.

A day after he fled Sri Lanka, disgraced President Rajapaksa flew from the Maldives to Singapore, where the government said he had been “allowed entry” on “a private visit” — and later sent his resignation to the Lanka Speaker.

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Confirming the arrival of Rajapaksa, the spokesperson for the Singapore Ministry of Foreign Affairs said, “He has not asked for asylum and neither has he been granted any asylum. Singapore generally does not grant requests for asylum.”

First published on: 15-07-2022 at 10:02 IST
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