Sri Lanka’s Parliament on Tuesday nominated three MPs to contest Presedential elections slated to be held on Wednesday. Three candidates vying to become Sri Lanka’s next president are: Dullas Alahapperuma of the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna’s (SLPP), acting president Ranil Wickremesinghe of the United National Party (UNP), and Anura Kumara Dissanayake of the Janatha Vimukthi Peramunay (JVP), Sri Lanka’s Daily Mirror reported.
On Tuesday, Sri Lankan opposition leader Sajitha Premadasa announced his withdrawal from the presidential race. Premadasa declared in a tweet that he and his party, Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB), will back Dullas Allahapperuma in the presidential election tomorrow.
“For the greater good of my country that I love and the people I cherish I hereby withdraw my candidacy for the position of President. SJB Sri Lanka and our alliance and our opposition partners will work hard towards making Dullas Allahapperuma victorious,” he tweeted.
On Wednesday, the 225 members of Parliament will rank the candidates in order of preference in a secret ballot.
The victorious candidate in the three-way race will need more than half of the votes cast. If either of the three candidates fails to achieve the threshold, the candidate with the fewest votes will be removed, and the votes will be allocated according to second choice until someone exceeds the cutoff number.
The incoming president will be in a difficult position as the country attempts to recover from an economic catastrophe, and he will have to work hard to earn the faith of Sri Lankans who are protesting for food, power, medications, and gasoline.
Soon after the announcements, the Sri Lankan parliament adjourned to reconvene on Wednesday morning to begin the voting process for the next president.
With almost 100 MPs in the Sri Lankan parliament, the SLPP is the single largest party. It also announced Ranil Wickremesinghe’s nomination, although that declaration was met with criticism from inside the party. With the SJB now sponsoring Dullas Alahapperuma, Wickremesinghe is expected to face a tough battle for the presidency of Sri Lanka.
(With Inputs From Daily Mirror & PTI)