Speaker takes over as temporary President in SL

Speaker takes over as temporary President in SL

Colombo: The leaders of the majority parties in Sri Lanka have decided to appoint Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena as the new President of the country until an all-party government is formed. Now, the Speaker may ask President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe to step down from their posts to make way for an all-party government.

The decision came in the wake of thousands of protesters marched to Colombo and took control of the President’s official residence, his office premises and the official residence of the Prime Minister, the Temple Trees.

Nevertheless, Wickremesinghe has not agreed to step down immediately, as he told the media that he would resign once the all-party government is formed and any party which wants to take over proves majority in Parliament.

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Wickremesinghe said that he had taken the decision in view of the fact that the island-wide fuel distribution is due to recommence, the World Food Programme Director is due to visit the country this week, and the debt sustainability report for the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is due to be finalised shortly.

President Rajapaksa, who has not made a public appearance since Friday night’s announcement urging people to stay calm, has not officially responded so far. Earlier, he had informed through Wickremesinghe that he would agree to whatever decision is taken by the party leaders.