Wickremesinghe,SriLanka’s New President

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Ranil Wickremesinghe has been elected the president of Sri Lanka, but with his party holding only one seat in parliament, he will have to rely on the powerful Rajapaksa family’s political party and other allies to be an effective leader amid the country’s continuing economic crisis.

The new leader has replaced the ousted Gotabaya Rajapaksa who fled the country in a vote that risks reigniting political turmoil in the troubled South Asian island nation.

Wickremesinghe, 73, is a seasoned politician with wide experience in diplomatic and international affairs. But he is unpopular among voters who view him as a holdover from Rajapaksa’s government.

He will serve the remainder of Rajapaksa’s term, which ends in 2024.

As president, Wickremesinghe now has the discretion to appoint a new prime minister.

Former President Gotabaya Rajapaksa appointed Wickremesinghe as prime minister in May, hoping to bring stability to a country engulfed in its worst economic crisis in memory. 

Wickremesinghe said he has spent 45 years of his life in Parliament and is happy it has given him the honor of becoming president. 

BY ALJAZEERA

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