'Completely false': India refutes claims of influencing Sri Lanka President elections
| Updated: Wednesday, July 20, 2022, 15:48 [IST]
Colombo, July 20: India on Wednesday slammed 'baseless and purely speculative media reports' that suggested New Delhi's political interference in the Sri Lankan Presidential elections. The assertion came even as the neighbouring country elected acting president Ranil Wickremesinghe as Gotabaya Rajapaksa's successor.
Acting President Ranil Wickremesinghe was on Wednesday elected as Sri Lanka's new President by Parliament, following a high-voltage political drama which saw his predecessor Gotabaya Rajapaksa fleeing the country and resigning after a popular uprising against his government for mismanaging the economy.
In a series of tweets, the Indian High Commission in Colombo said, "We have seen baseless and purely speculative media reports about efforts at political level from India to influence political leaders in Sri Lanka regarding elections in the Sri Lankan Parliament to the post of the President of Sri Lanka. "(We) categorically deny these media reports as completely false. They are clearly a figment of someone's imagination."
Ranil Wickremesinghe is Sri Lanka's new President
The High Commission reiterated that India supports the realisation of aspirations of the people of Sri Lanka in accordance with democratic means and values, established institutions as well as constitutional provisions, "and doesn't interfere in internal affairs and democratic processes of another country".
The 73-year-old six-time prime minister, Wickremesinghe, secured 134 votes in the 225-member House, while his nearest rival and dissident ruling party leader Dullas Alahapperuma got 82. Leftist Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake secured just three votes. The new president will have a mandate to serve out the rest of Gotabaya Rajapaksa's term, which ends in November 2024.