United Nations: Ensure Peaceful And Constitutional Transfer Of Power In Sri Lanka
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The United Nations has urged the leaders of Sri Lanka to transfer power peacefully in accordance with the country’s constitution. Gotabaya Rajapaksa has resigned from the presidency after weeks of protests and massive uproar in Sri Lanka.
Colombo-based United Nations (UN) coordinator Hana Singer issued a statement saying that they are urging all parties in Sri Lanka to ensure a peaceful transfer of power with full respect in accordance with the country’s constitution. He said that the change of power should be done through inclusive discussions outside Parliament and Parliament.
This statement of the United Nations comes at a time when Rajapaksa has resigned after fleeing Sri Lanka to Maldives and reaching Singapore. Earlier on Wednesday, thousands of protesters stormed the President’s official residence in the capital Colombo.
Sri Lanka is going through a major economic crisis. There is a severe shortage of food, fuel, medical items in the country. Discussions are on for an emergency package from the IMF for the rehabilitation of the country’s economy.
Ranil Wickremesinghe appointed as Acting President
Following Gotabaya’s resignation, Sri Lankan Parliament Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abhayawardene appointed Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe as acting President until a new President is elected. Interim President Ranil Wickremesinghe on Friday decided to ban the use of the word ‘His Excellency’ to address the President. Along with this, he has also announced to abolish the President’s flag.
Presidential election for the first time since 1978
Sri Lanka’s MP Gavindu Kumaratunga said, “Voting will be held on Wednesday to elect a new president.” A program has been fixed to elect a new President, he said. Nominations will be received soon. After the resignation of Gotabaya Rajapaksa, for the first time since 1978, the next President of Sri Lanka will be elected by secret vote of MPs. Till now this was done through popular mandate. Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abhaywardene said the 225-member parliament would elect a new president by secret vote on July 20. Parliament has never voted to elect a president since 1978.