The Sri Lanka parliament began voting Wednesday for a new president following the storming of Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s palace by angry protesters. To lead the crisis-ridden country, legislators voted in booths set up on the floor of the chamber to choose between three candidates in Sri lanka.
Parliamentary secretary-general Dhammika Dasanayake reminded members that photographing ballot papers is an offense. A number of previous elections have been plagued by allegations of vote-buying and corruption.
As a result, the winner will take charge of a bankrupt nation in bailout talks with the International Monetary Fund, where 22 million people face severe food, fuel, and medicine shortages.
There were hundreds of heavily armed troops and police outside the parliament, but there were no signs of protesters.
The protesters see Ranil Wickremesinghe as an ally of Rajapaksa and regard him as the frontrunner. Wickremesinghe served as acting president after his predecessor resigned.
Protesters call for Wickremesinghe’s resignation In Sri Lanka
At least some protest leaders have called on Wickremesinghe to step down following his election as president.
According to Sri Lanka’s NewsWire agency, protesters, who are demonstrating at the Galle Face Green in front of the presidential secretariat, called Wickremesinghe’s election “undemocratic”.
Rajapaksa brought Ranil Wickremesinghe into power. In light of this, we will continue to protest peacefully against Ranil Wickremesinghe and the corrupt system,” a representative said.
The concept of ‘real consensus government’
Alahapperuma, a former journalist who is supported by the opposition, was his main opponent in the vote.
As part of his pledge this week, Alahapperuma promised to form “the first actual consensual government in our history”.
Upon winning, Sajith Premadasa is expected to become the 63-year-old’s prime minister. During the 1980s, when Alahapperuma was a rights activist, Premadasa’s late father Ranasinghe ruled with an iron fist.
Three parliamentary seats are held by the leftist People’s Liberation Front (JVP), led by Anura Dissanayake, 53.
Candidates are ranked by lawmakers in order of preference, with more than half of the vote needed to win.
In the event that no candidate crosses the threshold on first preferences, the candidate with the lowest support is to be eliminated and their votes are to be distributed according to their second preferences.