Sri Lanka’s PM appointed as acting president
Sri Lankan Prime Minister, Ranil Wickremesinghe, has been appointed as the acting president of the country, Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardana announced on Wednesday.
Abeywardena in a statement broadcast over television said President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, who left the country earlier in the day, had given the authority for Wickremesinghe to act on his behalf.
Rajapaksa fled the country earlier in the day to Maldives on an air-force flight after weeks of protests and the storming of his office on Saturday.
Wickremesinghe was chosen by Rajapaksa to become prime minister when his predecessor Mahinda Rajapaksa resigned on May 9. following violent protests over the worst economic crisis in the debt ridden island nation.
The 73-year-old United National party (UNP) was appointed as the prime minister by Gotabaya Rajapaksa after they held closed door discusssion on Wednesday.
Wickremesinghe, who has served as the country’s prime minister for four times, was in October 2018 fired from the post of prime minister by then President Maithripala Sirisena.
However, he was reinstalled as the prime minister by Sirisena after two months.