Sri Lanka’s Ranil Wickremesinghe Elected as New President

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Sri Lanka’s Parliament has elected Ranil Wickremesinghe as the country’s new president, despite his growing unpopularity among anti-government protesters who viewed him as an ally of his predecessor.

He secured 134 of the total 219 votes in the Parliament, defeating his rival, ruling party lawmaker Dullas Alahapperuma, who collected 82 votes. Leftist leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake got three votes, Colombo Page reported. Opposition leader Sajith Premadasa withdrew his candidacy to support Alahapperuma.

Wickremesinghe, who was serving as interim president, expressed gratitude for the votes and called for unity with his opponents, including the opposition leader, to revive the country’s collapsed economy.

“We have to create a new strategy to move forward,” he said. “People are demanding not the old politics. They ask the Parliament to carry forward the work in a united manner.”

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