For the first time in 44 years, Sri Lanka's Parliament to directly elect the new President!

(The article is authored by Alar)

Acting President Ranil Wickremesinghe, ruling-party lawmaker Dullas Alahapperuma, and leader of the leftist Janatha Vimukti Peramuna party Anura Kumara Dissanayaka are the candidates, proposed by lawmakers on Tuesday to chair the new president of the island as a successor to Gotabaya Rajapaksa, who resigned amid the emergency crisis in Srilanka. The Parliament officials are concluding the counting of votes currently. 

Last week, Gotabaya Rajapaksa fled to the Maldives after the public reprimanded his administration for the current economic fall-down crisis and massively seized government buildings and the presidential palace and residence. And then Prime Minister Mr. Wickremesinghe was appointed as acting president. To stabilize the fallen country, the nominations were made on Tuesday to elect the new president of Srilanka in Parliament. 

For the past forty-four years in Srilanka's history, members of the ruling party unanimously elected a member from their party in the Parliament, after the people elected the prime minister. At Present, Srilanka's Parliament directly elects a president on Wednesday in a triangular contest.  Ranil Wickramasinghe, 73, Acting President of Sri Lanka, the formerly aligned and now independent  Dullas Alahapperuma, and left-wing party Anura Kumara Dissanayake, 53, are announced candidates and currently, they're under validating votes. 

The parliament’s secretary-general, Dhammika Dasanayake, rang the quorum bell to signal the start of the secret ballot vote in which 225 legislators will choose between three candidates for head of state of the crisis-wracked country.  Parliamentary Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena said it was “a historic day”. He said, “I am sure the whole country and the whole world is watching what happens in our parliament today,” 

A candidate will need 112 votes to secure victory in a total of 223 votes. The newly elected president will continue in office till November 2024. Gamini Lakshman Peiris, the current Cabinet Minister of External Affairs and a member of the Parliament said that most of the ruling party members have expressed their support for choosing Dallas Alagaperuma as the new president and Samaki Jana Balavekaya party leader, Sajith Premadasa as the prime minister.