Colombo: Former Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe’s United National Party (UNP) has only one seat in Sri Lanka’s 225-member parliament, but he is likely to take oath as the country’s next prime minister on Thursday. . The 73-year-old UNP leader spoke to President Gotabaya Rajapaksa on Wednesday and is likely to meet him again on Thursday.
Senior UNP leaders said that President Rajapaksa may administer the oath of office to Wickremesinghe on Thursday at 6:30 pm local time. Wickremesinghe, a four-time Prime Minister of Sri Lanka, was removed from the post of Prime Minister by the then President Maithripala Sirisena in October 2018. However, he was reinstated by Sirisena only two months later.
Wickremesinghe may get support of all parties
According to sources, Wickremesinghe may get support of all parties to lead the interim administration. His government can run for six months. According to sources, the ruling Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP), a faction of the opposition Samagi Jana Balavegaya (SJB) and several other parties have expressed their support to prove Wickremesinghe’s majority in Parliament.
UNP Claims Wickremesinghe Will Get Majority
UNP President V Abeywardena exuded confidence that he will get majority once Wickremesinghe is sworn in as the new Prime Minister. The country’s oldest party UNP could not win a single seat in 2020 and Wickremesinghe, who contested from Colombo, a stronghold of UNP, also lost.
image of a leader handling the economy
Wickremesinghe is acknowledged as a leader handling the economy with visionary policies. He is considered a Sri Lankan politician who can also mobilize international cooperation. President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, in his televised message to the nation late on Wednesday, refused to step down but promised the formation of a new prime minister and youth cabinet this week.
Sri Lanka is facing its worst economic crisis since gaining independence from Britain in 1948. This crisis is partly due to a lack of foreign exchange, which means that the country cannot pay for imports of staple foods and fuels, leading to an acute economic crisis. There is a shortage of essentials and the prices have gone up tremendously.