Sri Lanka to elect new PM on July 20: Minister

Colombo: Minister of Urban Development and Housing, Prasanna Ranatunga on Monday announced that the new President of Sri Lanka will be elected on July 20.

Ranatunga said that the party leaders have decided to elect a new President on July 20, if President Gotabaya Rajapaksa resigns on July 13, reported NewsWire.

The following events will take place if the President resigns on 13th July as decided at the party leaders’ meeting- Parliament will be convened on July 15; Nominations for the post of President will be accepted on July 19 and the new President will be elected on July 20.

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The development comes after thousands of people stormed into the President’s House in Fort on Saturday. The dramatic visuals came from PM’s official residence where they were seen playing carrom board, sleeping on the sofa, enjoying in park premises and preparing food for dinner.

Even Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe also announced to step down from his posts amid the ongoing protests. However, the protesters who have occupied the residences of the President and Prime Minister have cleared that they will continue to occupy their houses until they resign from their posts.

The worsening economic situation in the country has led to increasing tensions and over the last few weeks, there were reports of several confrontations between individuals and members of the police force and the armed forces at fuel stations where thousands of desperate members of the public have queued for hours and sometimes days.

Sri Lanka is suffering its worst economic crisis since gaining independence in 1948, which comes on the heels of successive waves of COVID-19, threatening to undo years of development progress.

Earlier, on Saturday, Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena announced in a press conference that the President will resign from his post on July 13.

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa officially informed PM Wickremesinghe that he is resigning from his post.
Meanwhile, former Sri Lankan cricketer Sanath Jayasuriya called the 9th of July, the day when the demonstration started, a “public day.”

The oil supply shortage has forced schools and government offices to close until further notice.
Amid the fuel shortage in Sri Lanka, the 1990 emergency ambulance service has been suspended in several areas.

The Suwa Seriya Ambulance Service had urged the public to refrain from calling the 1990 emergency ambulance service in the affected areas, Colombo Gazette reported.

The economic crisis has particularly impacted food security, agriculture, livelihoods, and access to health services.

Sri Lanka is one of the few nations named by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) which is expected to go without food due to the global food shortage expected this year.

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