Sri Lanka's parliament votes for a new president as protesters wait

Sri Lanka
# 20 July 2022 09:53 (UTC +04:00)

Sri Lankan authorities ringed parliament with heavy security on Wednesday as lawmakers prepared to choose between three candidates for president, hoping the new leader could pull the island out of a crippling economic and political crisis, APA reports citing Reuters.

A win for acting President Ranil Wickremesinghe, one of the main two contenders but opposed by many ordinary Sri Lankans, could lead to more demonstrations by people furious with the ruling elite after months of crippling shortages of fuel, food and medicines, several protesters have said.

"If Ranil comes (into power), we cannot have stability," said Duminda Nagamuwa, who organised protests in Colombo after the nominations were finalised. Other protesters have said the acting president is an ally of the powerful Rajapaksa family, who they blame for the economic crisis.