Sri Lankan President officially informs PM that he will resign

Sri Lankan President officially informs PM that he will resign

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has officially informed Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe that he will resign from the presidency as informed earlier, the PM’s Media Unit said. 

President Rajapaksa had announced his resignation on Saturday, hours after a large crowd of angry protesters had stormed the presidential palace. 

“To ensure a peaceful transition, the president said he will step down on July 13,” Speaker of Parliament Mahinda Yapa Abeywardana had said in a televised statement.

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe had called a meeting with political leaders and said he was willing to step down to pave the way for a unity government.

At the meeting, chaired by the Speaker, the party leaders came to the consensus that the President and the Prime Minister must resign immediately.

The Speaker, in his statement, stated that the President agreed to implement the decisions taken by the political party leaders.

The President has told the Speaker that he would vacate his position on July 13 to allow a peaceful handover of power.

If Wickremesinghe resigns, then Speaker of Parliament Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena will be temporarily sworn in as the President on Wednesday for a period of 30 days during which Parliament will select a new President - any candidate who has majority support.

However If Ranil Wickremesinghe continues in office, he will be sworn in as the President on Wednesday following Rajapaksa's resignation and till a Presidential election is held, he will concentrate on finalizing a deal with the IMF and restoring some kind of economic normalcy. It is still unsure who will be Wickremesinghe's Prime Ministerial candidate but he is likely to allow Parliament to nominate a suitable candidate.