Highlights

  • Sri Lanka: scenario after Gotabaya Rajapaksa's resignation explained
  • Sri Lanka Parliament Speaker will be acting President; new all-party govt
  • Decision to hold elections soon for new govt taken at all-party meeting

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What next in Sri Lanka? Constitution's rules explained; acting President named; all-party govt announced

With both President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe resigning, it has been announced that Sri Lanka Parliament's Speaker Yapa Abeywardena will be the acting President.

Hours after angry protestors stormed into his house on 9 July, Sri Lanka's President Gotabaya announced his decision to resign. Protestors had been demanding his ouster since March 2022, when demonstrations against the severe economic crisis began.

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe had announced a few hours earlier that he would also resign.

So, what happens in the crisis-hit island nation now?

The Sri Lankan Constitution reportedly says that if a President resigns mid-term, then a Parliamentarian will be chosen as the next President by MPs. The new President will serve till the term of the earlier President concludes, after which elections will be held.

The Parliament has to meet within a few days of the President resigning, to select a new one. If there are more than one candidates, then secret ballot will take place. Till the entire process concludes, an acting President is chosen.

Since Sri Lanka's Prime Minister Wickremesinghe is also resigning, it has been announced that Parliament Speaker Yapa Abeywardena will be the acting President.

Also watch: Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa to step down on July 13: Speaker

In an all-party meeting which called for Rajapaksa's resignation, it was decided that an interim all-party government would be formed under a new PM commanding majority in Parliament. Elections will be held soon after to elect a new government.

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