Home » 'Our divisions are now over': Ranil Wickremesinghe wins Sri Lanka presidency

'Our divisions are now over': Ranil Wickremesinghe wins Sri Lanka presidency

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Crisis-wracked Sri Lanka's divisions had come to an end, the country's new President Ranil Wickremesinghe said on Wednesday after he was elected to replace his predecessor who fled the country and resigned last week. "Our divisions are now over," he said in an acceptance speech to parliament after legislators elected him head of state.

Sri Lankan lawmakers voted Mr Wickremesinghe as the new president hoping he would pull the country out of a crippling economic and political crisis.

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"Ranil Wickremesinghe has been elected as the eighth executive president under the constitution," the secretary general of parliament said after counting finished. The win for Mr Wickremesinghe, opposed by many ordinary Sri Lankans, could lead to more demonstrations by people furious with the ruling elite after months of severe shortages of fuel, food and medicines, several protesters have said. The other main candidate, ruling party lawmaker Dullas Alahapperuma, was more acceptable to the protesters and the opposition but did not have any top-level governance experience in a country with barely any dollars for imports and was desperately in need of an IMF bailout.

The 225-member parliament gave 134 votes to Wickremesinghe and 82 to Alahapperuma. A third candidate, Anura Kumara Dissanayaka, got just three votes.

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