Sri Lanka: Ranil Wickremesinghe sworn in for the presidency

Sri Lanka: Ranil Wickremesinghe sworn in for the presidency


Sri Lankan Ranil Wickremesinghe was sworn in on Thursday as the eighth executive president of the historic crisis-stricken South Asian island, his office said. /p>

Mr. Wickremesinghe had been elected head of state the day before by parliament with the support of the clan of his predecessor Gotabaya Rajapaksa, who resigned last week after fleeing the country rocked by a wave of demonstrations against his power.

Mr Wickremesinghe, 73 and a six-time prime minister, who had been acting president since Mr Rajapaksa fled.

He was sworn in before Chief Justice Jayantha Jayasuriya in the parliamentary precinct placed under close surveillance, according to a press release from his office.

The Sri Lankan Police Chief and Army High Command stood behind the new President during his swearing-in ceremony, in the presence of the Speaker of Parliament, Mahinda Abeywardana.

The brief The ceremony was to be broadcast live on local television, but it was inexplicably interrupted just before the inauguration.

Authorities said an investigation had been opened into the causes of the unexpected outage.< /p>

According to official sources, the new head of state should form a strong government of up to 30 ministers whose mission will be to get the country out of the worst economic crisis in its history.

< p>For months, the country of 22 million people has suffered long power cuts and shortages of fuel, food and medicine.

People's anger reached its peak when tens of thousands of demonstrators stormed the residence of President Gota baya Rajapaksa, pushed to flee and resign last week. Mr. Wickremesinghe, then Prime Minister, for the sixth time in his career, had to assume the interim presidency.