Amidst the ongoing crisis in Sri Lanka, the parliamentary speaker there said on Friday that a new president would be elected within a week. Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s resignation as President has been accepted. Gotabaya Rajapaksa has fled the country. Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abhaywardene told the media, “Gotabaya has legally resigned on Thursday.” Rajapaksa had informed the speaker from Singapore that he was stepping down as President. Let us tell you, in Sri Lanka, which is going through a serious economic crisis, people are protesting on a large scale, in the meantime the President fled the country. The protesters occupied the Rashtrapati Bhavan.
Gotabaya Rajapaksa submitted his resignation after arriving in Singapore from Maldives late on Thursday night. Rajapaksa is the first president to resign since Sri Lanka adopted the presidential system in 1978.
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Rajapaksa has resigned after leaving the country amid growing public outcry against himself and his family for not handling the bankrupt country’s economy. Rajapaksa on Thursday sent his resignation letter to the president via email soon after he was allowed to visit Singapore on a “private visit”.
The Speaker said in a brief statement that Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe would hold the charge of the President until a new leader is elected. He requested the public to create a peaceful atmosphere for all the MPs to participate in the process of election. This process has to be completed within seven days. The Sri Lankan Parliament will meet on Saturday.
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The Speaker’s media secretary Indunil Abhayawardene said the speaker had received Rajapaksa’s resignation letter through the Sri Lankan High Commission in Singapore on Thursday night, but wanted to make an official announcement after the verification process and legal formalities.