Ranil Wickremesinghe to Seek Re-election Amid Political Shifts

Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe will contest the forthcoming presidential election, as confirmed by Tourism Minister Harin Fernando. Wickremesinghe, who replaced Gotabaya Rajapaksa after economic turmoil and protests, will announce his candidacy within two weeks. The election is scheduled between September 17 and October 16.

PTI | Colombo | Updated: 27-05-2024 15:22 IST | Created: 27-05-2024 15:22 IST
Ranil Wickremesinghe to Seek Re-election Amid Political Shifts
Ranil Wickremesinghe
  • Country:
  • Sri Lanka

Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe will certainly contest the presidential poll to seek re-election and will announce his candidacy in the next two weeks, a senior government minister said on Monday.

Harin Fernando, the Tourism minister and a close ally of Wickremesinghe, said. "I can say with certainty that the President will contest.'' The island nation's Elections Commission earlier this month said the presidential election would be conducted between September 17 and October 16.

The ruling Sri Lanka People's Front, commonly known by its Sinhalese name Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP), which has the current parliamentary majority, had pressed Wickremesinghe to hold the parliamentary election ahead of the presidential poll.

Wickremesinghe, 75, is yet to announce his candidacy despite declarations by two other main opposition leaders: Sajith Premadasa the main opposition leader, and the Marxist JVP leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake.

Fernando said Wickremesinghe would announce his candidature within the next two weeks.

Wickremesinghe, from the arch-rival party United National Party (UNP), succeeded SLPP-elected president Gotabaya Rajapaksa to become president for the rest of Rajapaksa's term when the latter was ousted, after the island nation declared first international default, during street protests which lasted between April and July of 2022.

Rajapaksa gave in to calls for his resignation due to his inability to handle the unprecedented economic crisis.

Some of the SLPP members have turned into Wickremesinghe supporters while the party also saw other members split as well to form other political entities.

The Rajapaksa administration announced Sri Lanka's first-ever sovereign default as forex shortages caused long queues for essentials and fuel.

Wickremesinghe since taking over has steered the economy to safety by securing an IMF bailout. Analysts, however, feel that Sri Lanka is not completely out of the woods yet.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

Give Feedback