Gotabaya Rajapaksa has officially resigned as Sri Lanka’s President.
The announcement was made by Speaker of Parliament Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena at a media briefing this morning.
Meanwhile, the Speaker announced that Parliament will convene tomorrow, to convey that Gotabaya Rajapaksa has resigned as the President.
The Speaker announced that Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s resignation is effective as of the 14th of July.
He stated that the constitutional process of electing a new President will now commence, adding that until then Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe will continue as the acting President in executing duties and functions of the President as constitutionally stipulated.
Speaker Abeywardena stated that accordingly No.2 of 1981 of the Constitution and the 40th Article of the Constitution steps will be taken to appoint a President.
He noted that as the longest standing democracy in South Asia, future measures must be carried out within the democratic framework and with transparency.
Therefore, the Speaker urged all party leaders, state officials, and the security forces to support this democratic process.
Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena also urged the public to allow the democratic Parliamentary system to take place and to allow MPs to report for sittings and to ensure a peaceful environment towards this purpose.
The Speaker stated that within seven days the appointment of a new President will take place.
Protests were launched against former President Rajapaksa, former Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, and the government demanding their resignation when Sri Lanka plunged into an economic crisis and also began facing shortages of fuel, gas, fertiliser, food, and other essential items.
Following widespread and indefinite protests especially at the Galle Fare Green where ‘Gota Go Gama’ was established, and the recent storming of the President’s House, the Presidential Secretariat, and the Temple Trees Gotabaya Rajapaksa was forced to resign.
He directed his letter of resignation to the Speaker of House from Singapore yesterday.
Former President Rajapaksa’s resignation letter was two days overdue from his pledge on Saturday, the 9th of July, that he would tender his resignation on the 13th.
On the morning on the 13th, the former President Rajapaksa fled to the Maldives.
From the Maldives, yesterday, he left for Singapore and is expected to travel to Saudi Arabia.
Former Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa resigned as Prime Minister on the 9th of May following unrest across the island that resulted in violent activities including Parliamentarians residences being set on fire.
With his resignation, Ranil Wickremesinghe was appointed to the post of Prime Minister.
However, protests have been staged demanding his resignation as well.
The Premier’s residence was torched on the 9th of July by a mob causing severe damages.
With the resignation of former President Rajapaksa, Prime Minister Wickremesinghe will function as the acting President of Sri Lanka.