All eyes on Sajith Premadasa, the man likely to be Sri Lanka's next Prez
| Updated: Wednesday, July 13, 2022, 21:30 [IST]
Colombo, July 13: Amid massive protests calling for the resignation of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Prime Minister Ranil Wickramasinghe, Sri Lankan Leader of Opposition Sajith Premadasa held a meeting with other parties regarding his candidature for the post of the country's President.Sajith Premadasa (Photo Credit: PTI)
The meeting was attended by several Members of Parliaments (MPs) from other parties including Independent MP Anura Priyadharshana Yapa. "We're meeting to get an idea on how to elect the next president of the country. Many parties are discussing to create a consensus. It's important to achieve it. Sajith Premadasa was 2nd in the last elections so we spoke to him," ANI quoted Independent MP Yapa as saying over Premadasa's candidature.
Who is Sajith Premadasa?
Sajith is the son of former Sri Lankan President Ranasinghe Premadasa. He was pursuing postgraduate studies at the University of Maryland in London when his father was assassinated.
As a result, he returned to Sri Lanka and entered politics by joining United National Party. He was elected to parliament in 2000 and was appointed Deputy Minister of Health in 2001, serving until 2004.
In 2011, he was appointed deputy leader of the United National Party in 2011 and was appointed Cabinet Minister of Housing and Samurdhi in President Sirisena's National Government in 2015.
He contested the 2019 Presidential Election in November 2019 as the Presidential Candidate from United National Front, in which he polled second. In December 2019, he was appointed as the leader of the opposition and a member of the Constitutional Council of Sri Lanka.
On 30 January 2020, he was selected as the leader (hence Prime Ministerial candidate) of a new UNP lead alliance.
At this stage, his SJB has over 50 MPs in Parliament and to win a Parliament vote they need the support of 113 MPs. Interestingly, he rejected the offer to become the Prime Minister in April afterwhich the ruling party then choose Ranil Wickramasinghe for the post.
Looking at the current scenario, he is likely to form the next government with support from other parties, say reports.