At a ceremony held in Colombo’s Parliament, Ranil Wickremesinghe has sworn in as Sri Lanka’s eighth executive president.
Wickremesinghe entered the parliament on Thursday to take the oath of office before the chief justice after observing a guard of honor with the house speaker at the entrance to the legislative complex.
Mahinda Rajapaksa and Maithripala Sirisena, two of his predecessors, were in attendance.
Wickremesinghe takes over for Gotabaya Rajapaksa, who had to leave the nation due to protracted demonstrations over a dire economic situation.
In Rajapaksa’s absence after he fled to Singapore and the Maldives, he was named acting president. On July 14, after arriving in Singapore, Rajapaksa submitted his resignation.
Wickremesinghe was chosen as president by the Sri Lankan Parliament on Wednesday despite many Sri Lankans saying he is partly responsible for the economic crisis. The experienced leader’s unexpected change in events came when he lost his seat in the parliamentary elections held in August 2020. Through the national list, a method that distributes additional seats for accumulating votes, the United National Party obtained one seat.
Despite not being a well-liked politician, Wickremesinghe has a high regard in both the political and diplomatic spheres.
He has held several important posts over his 45-year legislative career, including the prime minister, multiple cabinet ministries, the chief whip, and the opposition leader.
The cabinet of ministers dissolves as he steps down as prime minister. Soon, Wickremesinghe has expectations of appointing his prime minister and government.
Wickremesinghe’s former deputy, former Speaker Karu Jayasuriya, thinks the urgent need for changes should be his priority.
The immediate tasks of the new president include: “19A-like constitutional reforms, facilitating a multi-party interim government, implementing a common minimum economic program, mechanisms for citizens’ opinions and youth aspirations in governance, and initiating the drafting of a new constitution.” says Jayasuriya currently serving as the leader of a National Movement for Social Justice.