The historic vote to elect a succeeding President for Sri Lanka will take place in Parliament shortly.
Parliament is scheduled to convene at 10am under the auspices of Speaker of House Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena.
Acting President Ranil Wickremesinghe, Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna Parliamentarian Dullas Alahapperuma and National People’s Power leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake are in the race to become the eighth Executive President of Sri Lanka.
Nominations for the Presidency were accepted yesterday. Secretary General of Parliament Dhammika Dassanayake will act as the returning officer during today’s secrete vote in Parliament.
This is the first vote to elect a succeeding President in the history of Sri Lanka.
All members of Parliament including the Speaker will be eligible to vote to elect the succeeding President.
Security in and around the Parliamentary complex has been beefed up ahead of today’s vote to elect a new President.
A large number of Tri-Forces personnel and Police officers have been deployed on duty in the area today.
Meanwhile, the main political party in Parliament, the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna is backing acting President Ranil Wickremesinghe in the vote to elect the next President while former Minister and SLPP member Dullas Alahapperuma is being backed by the main opposition, the Samagi Jana Balawegaya.
Constituent parties of the SJB, the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress, the All Ceylon Makkal Congress and the Tamil Progressive Alliance have announced that they will support SLPP MP Alahapperuma.
An agreement was also reached by Alahapperuma yesterday with Tamil National Alliance.
The Sri Lanka Freedom Party and the group of 10 independent parties yesterday announced that they will vote for Dullas Alahapperuma.
The Ceylon Workers’ Congress, National Congress and EPDP have announced that they will support acting President Ranil Wickremesinghe during today’s Parliamentary vote to elect the succeeding President.
Meanwhile, Minister Harin Fernando has stated that a large number of SJB MPs will vote for acting President Ranil Wickremesinghe in Parliament today.
Minister Fernando said several other MPs will also defy party lines during today’s vote.
Meanwhile, both leading Presidential candidates have held discussions with MPs yesterday and earlier today to secure their support ahead of this morning’s vote.