Ranil Wickremesinghe was elected Sri Lanka's new president by the country's parliament on Wednesday, July 20, following a high-voltage political drama which saw his predecessor Gotabaya Rajapaksa fleeing the country on July 14 and resigning office on July 15.
The 73-year-old six-time former prime minister secured 134 votes in the 225-member House while his nearest rival and dissident ruling party leader Dullas Alahapperuma got 82.
President Wickremesinghe will have a mandate to serve out the rest of Gotabaya's term, which ends in November 2024.
This is the first time in 44 years that Sri Lanka's parliament has directly elected a president.
IMAGE: Supporters celebrate Ranil Wickremesinghe's election in Colombo. Photograph: Dinuka Liyanawatte/Reuters
IMAGE: Firecrackers are burst in Colombo to celebrate Ranil's win. Photograph: Adnan Abidi/Reuters
IMAGE: Ranil has wanted to be president all his political career. Photograph: Dinuka Liyanawatte/Reuters
Photograph: Dinuka Liyanawatte/Reuters
Photograph: Adnan Abidi/Reuters
IMAGE: A television journalist films parliamentary proceedings shown on a giant screen on the lawns of the presidential secretariat in Colombo. Photograph: Abhishek Chinnappa/Getty Images
IMAGE: People sit beneath the statue of Solomon West Ridgeway Dias Bandaranaike, the fourth prime minister of independent Ceylon, to watch parliamentary proceedings being shown on a giant screen on the lawns of the presidential secretariat. Photograph: Abhishek Chinnappa/Getty Images
Photographs curated by Manisha Kotian/Rediff.com
Feature Presentation: Rajesh Alva/Rediff.com