Sajith Premadasa: The Man Who Could Become the Next President of Sri Lanka – The Quint
The current Leader of the Opposition of Sri Lanka and Member of Parliament for Colombo District, Sajith Premadasa announced his bid to run for president on Tuesday, 12 July.
The state of affairs in the country took a chaotic turn after protesters, on 9 July, stormed the residence of the then President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, who after promising to resign, has fled the country. His resignation has still not been officially announced.
At his directions, the House Speaker appointed Ranil Wickremesinghe, who had himself resigned as prime minister on the same day, as the acting president of Sri Lanka on 13 July.
Should Ranil step down as acting president eventually, the parliament will have to elect a new president within 30 days. At the moment, Premadasa, leader of the Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB), seems to be one of the favourites.
Talking about the prospects of Premadasa becoming the next president, Aditya Gowdara Shivamurthy, a Junior Fellow with ORF's Strategic Studies Programme who focuses on South Asia, told The Quint, "He might do a fair job in bringing together the opposition and the independent MPs. The problem, however, is that protestors demand the dissolution of the parliament, which means even he might not enjoy complete legitimacy."
"Parliament is still dominated by SLPP and Rajapaksa loyalists. They will likely propose a favorable candidate from their own party. Given the situation even if he becomes a president - his action should be swift and tangible," Gowdara added.
So, who is Sajith Premadasa? What is his record in Sri Lankan politics?