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The Indian High Commissioner Gopal Baglay called on Parliament Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena on Saturday ahead of the Sri Lankan Parliament meeting to elect the new President of Sri Lanka, saying that India will continue to be “appreciative of democracy, stability, and economic recovery in Sri Lanka.” The Indian Commission to Sri Lanka stated on Twitter, “Today, the High Commissioner met with the Hon’ble Speaker. Recognized Parliament’s role in preserving democracy and the constitutional framework, particularly at this critical juncture. India has stated that it will continue to support democracy, stability, and economic expansion in Sri Lanka.”
Earlier on Friday, Sri Lanka’s main opposition leader, Sajith Premadasa, announced his intention to run for President.
Sajith Premadasa wrote on Twitter, “I’m running for President of the United States. The electorate is limited to 225 members, with the GR (Gotabaya Rajapaksa) coalition commanding the majority. Even though it will be a difficult battle, I am confident that truth will triumph.”
Following the resignation of Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, the Parliament will convene next week to begin the process of electing a new President, according to a special statement issued by interim President Ranil Wickremesinghe.
This comes at a time when Sri Lanka is experiencing its worst financial recession since independence, with food and fuel shortages.
Meanwhile, the Sri Lankan Supreme Court issued an interim order prohibiting former Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa and former Finance Minister Basil Rajapaksa from leaving the country even without permission of the court until July 28.
Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe was sworn in as interim President on Friday after Parliament Speaker Abeywardena accepted Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s resignation.
After arriving in Singapore on Thursday, Gotabaya Rajapaksa decided to submit his resignation letter, officially vacating the position of President. According to Parliament Speaker Abeywardena, “Yes, the President’s resignation has been accepted, and the legal process will begin… Members will be invited to vote for a President tomorrow.”
According to media reports, Gotabaya Rajapaksa arrived in Singapore on a Saudia Airlines flight from the Maldives on Thursday evening.