Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe was sworn in as interim president before the chief justice on Friday, following the resignation of Gotabaya Rajapaksa, according to the prime minister’s office.
Earlier in the day, Sri Lanka’s Parliament Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena said he has received the resignation letter of the president, and from this point forth the president has legally resigned from his legal duties and responsibilities.
“Under these circumstances, the constitutional procedure of appointing a new president will now be activated. Until this constitutional procedure is over, according to the constitution the prime minister will function in the capacity of the president overseeing functions, duties, and powers of the office of the president,” the speaker told a media briefing.
The speaker added that parliament will convene on July 16 and he requested all legislators to attend parliamentary sessions on that day.
He requested maximum cooperation for the democratic process of electing a new president and government from all party leaders, state officials, and security forces, and made a special appeal to the citizens of Sri Lanka to create a peaceful environment that would allow all lawmakers to attend parliament freely.
Under such an environment, with the help of all responsible, the speaker said he intends to conclude the process of electing a new president within a short period of seven days.
Sri Lanka has been in the midst of severe economic turmoil for months, which has led to a shortage of basic supplies such as food, gas and fuel.