Ranil Wickremesinghe May Return As Lankan PM Amid Crisis: Reports

Sri Lanka Crisis: Mr Wickremesinghe has served as the country’s chief minister four times.

Colombo:

Sri Lanka’s former chief minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, who has just one seat in the 225-member Parliament, could become the next premier, media reports said on Thursday amidst the worst economic crisis in the debt-ridden island nation.

The 73-year-old United National Party (UNP) leader held talks with President Gotabaya Rajapaksa on Wednesday and is expected to meet him again on Thursday, the Colombo Page newspaper reported.

Mr Wickremesinghe, who has served as the country’s chief minister four times, was in October 2018 fired from the post of chief minister by then-President Maithripala Sirisena. However, he was reinstalled as the chief minister by Mr Sirisena after two months.

According to political supplies, members of the ruling Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP), a section of the main Opposition Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) and several other parties have expressed their sustain to show a majority for Mr Wickremesinghe in Parliament, it said.

The report said that Mr Wickremesinghe will be sworn in as the new chief minister on Thursday or Friday.

UNP Chairman Vajira Abeywardena has said that Mr Wickremesinghe will be able to get a majority in Parliament after being sworn in as the new chief minister, replacing Mahinda Rajapaksa, who resigned on Monday.

The UNP, the oldest party in the country, had won just one seat in the last parliamentary surveys in 2020.

In a late-night televised address to the nation, the President on Wednesday refused to quit but promised to appoint a new chief Minister and a young Cabinet this week which would introduce meaningful constitutional reforms to curb his powers, amid protests over the nation’s worst economic crisis that ousted his elder brother Mahinda Rajapaksa who is under protection at a naval base following violent attacks on his aides.

Sri Lanka is facing its worst economic crisis since gaining independence from Britain in 1948. The crisis is caused in part by a without of foreign money, which has meant that the country cannot provide to pay for imports of important foods and fuel, leading to acute shortages and very high prices.

Thousands of demonstrators have hit the streets across Sri Lanka since April 9 seeking the resignation of the Rajapaksa brothers.

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated satisfy.)

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