Highlights

  • Sri Lanka's acting President Ranil Wickremesinghe announces Presidential bid
  • 3 others in the race to be Sri Lanka's next president
  • Special session of Sri Lankan Parliament held on Saturday

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Wickremesinghe, Premadasa among four leaders to contest presidential election in Sri Lanka

 Sri Lanka's acting President Ranil Wickremesinghe, main Opposition leader Sajith Premadasa are among the four leaders who have joined the race to become the country's next President

Sri Lanka's acting President Ranil Wickremesinghe, main Opposition leader Sajith Premadasa are among the four leaders who have joined the race to become the country's next President as the lawmakers met on Saturday to start the process of electing a new president to succeed Gotabaya Rajapaksa, who resigned after unprecedented protests against his government over the country's economic collapse.

Besides Wickremesinghe and Premadasa, Marxist JVP leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake and Dullas Alahapperuma, a breakaway SLPP candidate, are the other two leaders who have so far announced their candidacy to contest the July 20 vote in Parliament to succeed Rajapaksa for the rest of his term until November 2024 after he resigned on Thursday.

Parliament met for a brief special session on Saturday to announce the vacancy in the presidency following the resignation of Rajapaksa.

Rajapaksa, who fled to the Maldives on Wednesday and then landed in Singapore on Thursday, formally resigned on Friday, capping off a chaotic 72 hours in the crisis-hit nation that saw protesters storm many iconic buildings, including the President and the Prime Minister's residences here.

During the 13-minute special session, Dhammika Dassanayake, Secretary General of Parliament, announced the vacancy for the post of president.

Also watch: Sri Lankan Speaker officially announces Gotabaya's resignation, PM to act as interim Prez

Dasanayake said that nominations for the election of the new president will be heard on Tuesday and if there is more than one candidate, the lawmakers will vote on Wednesday. Marxist Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) leader Dissanayake, 53, on Saturday officially declared his intention to contest the election.

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