Sri Lanka’s Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe was sworn in as the country’s acting president on Friday, July 15, a government official said.
Wickremesinghe had already taken on the role after former president Gotabaya Rajapaksa fled the country on Wednesday, July 13, following months of anti-government protests.
Wickremesinghe, 73, took his oath of office before chief justice Jayantha Jayasuriya, Wickremesinghe’s office said in a brief statement.
According to the constitution, the prime minister automatically becomes president in the event of a resignation.
Wickremesinghe on Friday asked legislators to work towards a consensus to establish an all-party government in the crisis-ridden country and said he would follow the constitutional process and establish law and order after months of anti-Rajapaksa protests.
Parliament will now meet on Wednesday to elect a politician to serve out the remainder of Rajapaksa’s term ending in 2024, with nominations due the previous day.