The chairman of the Sri Lankan parliament accepted the resignation of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa on Friday. Two days earlier, the leader had fled the country with his family. The reason for his resignation was mass protests caused by the worst economic crisis on the island in seven decades.
“From then on, we will strive to appoint a new president in accordance with the constitution,” Mahinda Yap Abeywarden, chairman of the Sri Lankan parliament, told reporters. – It will be fast and successful. I am asking everyone to support this process – he appealed.
Abeywarden expressed his hope that the election process for the new president would be completed within seven days and that parliament would meet again on Saturday.
The president resigned
President Sri Lanka Gotabaya Rajapaksa left the country on Wednesday on a military jet with his wife and two bodyguards to the Maldives, then to Singapore. From there, he sent a letter to the speaker of parliament on Thursday, stating that resigns. The letter was forwarded to the Public Prosecutor General, who examined the legal aspects of this form of resignation and previously confirmed the authenticity of the letter.
Following the announcement of the president’s resignation, his office was automatically taken over by Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, who will be the interim head of state until the election of Rajapaksa’s successor by parliament. According to the election calendar, new elections should be held in November 2024.
Massive protests in Sri Lanka
On Thursday, demonstrators who had raided government buildings a few days earlier, including the prime minister’s office and the presidential palace, withdrew but said they would gather outside the president’s office to form a new government.
Sri Lanka, with 22 million people, is struggling with a huge financial crisis, which has reduced the supply of fuel, food and drugs. According to experts, the country is plunged into the greatest economic crisis since independence in 1948. Shortages in supplies and reaching 55 percent. inflation sparked anti-presidential demonstrations that began peacefully in March.
Main photo source: PAP / EPA / CHAMILA KARUNARATHNE