New Sri Lanka president to be elected on July 20 to replace Rajapaksa: Minister

Published on Jul 11, 2022 05:34 PM IST

The prime minister's office said Gotabaya Rajapaksa and the entire cabinet will resign to make way for a unity government after tens of thousands of protesters stormed the official residences of both men.

Sri Lanka's President Gotabaya Rajapaksa's whereabouts are unknown.(REUTERS file)
Sri Lanka's President Gotabaya Rajapaksa's whereabouts are unknown.(REUTERS file)
By, New Delhi

Sri Lankan minister Prasanna Ranatunga on Monday said party leaders have decided to elect the country's new president on July 20 if President Gotabaya Rajapaksa resigns on July 13 as earlier announced by the Parliament Speaker, NewsWire reported.

The prime minister's office said Rajapaksa and the entire cabinet will resign to make way for a unity government after tens of thousands of protesters stormed the official residences of both men.

After Saturday's sweeping protests in the wake of a debilitating economic crisis, the speaker of parliament said Rajapaksa would resign on Wednesday. However, there has been no direct word from Rajapaksa on his plans.

NewsWire reported that if the president resigns on July 13 the following events are likely to be taken place, as decided at the party leaders' meeting:

*Parliament will be convened on July 15.

*Nominations for the post of president will be accepted on July 19.

*President will be elected on July 20.

Colombo was calm on Monday as hundreds of people strolled into the president's secretariat and residence and toured the colonial-era buildings. Police made no attempt to stop anyone.

"We are not going anywhere till this president leaves and we have a government that is acceptable to the people," news agency Reuters quoted Jude Hansana, 31, who has been at a protest site outside the residence since early April, as saying.

Rajapaksa and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe were not in their residences when the protesters surged into the buildings and have not been seen in public since Friday.

Rajapaksa's whereabouts were not known but Wickremesinghe's media team said in a statement he held a meeting with cabinet ministers at the prime minister's office on Monday morning.

(With inputs from agencies)

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