Race For Presidency Heats Up

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Opposition Leader Sajith Premadasa, SLPP MP Dullas Alahapperuma and Jathika Jana Balawegaya (JJB) Leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake will likely submit nominations to be elected for the post of President next week.

However, the UNP is yet to decide whether to nominate Acting President Ranil Wickremesinghe for Presidency.

The nominations will be called on 19 July and the vote for appointing a new President will take place in Parliament on 20 July.

Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) General Secretary Ranjith Maddumabandara on Friday (15) said the previous decision taken by the party to nominate Premadasa for the Presidency has not been changed.

Alahapperuma on Friday (15) announced that he will submit nomination for the Presidency.

However, the SLPP has decided not to nominate a candidate and will support Acting President Ranil Wickremesinghe during the vote in Parliament.  In a statement, Alahapperuma said, “I’m announcing my candidacy for the presidency. I ask for the support of fellow MPs, who believe that Sri Lanka needs to embark on a new, constructive course. Together, let’s commit to guide to the path of economic prosperity while upholding rule of law and maintaining ethnic solidarity.”

SLPP General Secretary Sagara Kariyawasam said although SLPP made a policy decision to not nominate an SLPP MP as a candidate for Presidency, Dullas Alahapperuma who was elected to Parliament representing SLPP has announced his intention to contest for presidency in contravention to the Party decision.

He said thereby that SLPP has decided to support Wickremesinghe due to his expertise and experience in politics and as he would not be influenced by personal or political interests in his capacity as President.

Furthermore, Ceylon Today learns that JJB Leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake will also likely to submit nominations for the post.

The JJB Leader earlier said he is ready to take the leadership to safeguard the country and the people.

Meanwhile, Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena officially announced President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s resignation on Friday (15) morning.

Addressing the media, the Speaker said that he has received the President’s official resignation letter dated 14 July 2022.

Abeywardena further said that he also intends to complete the Parliament process pertaining to the electing of a new President within the course of the next 7 days.

Parliament was convened on Saturday (16) to announce Rajapaksa’s resignation.

BY Nabiya Vaffoor, Faadhila Thassim and Anuradha Herath