According to the Presidential Elections (Special Provisions) Act (No. 2 of 1981), Acting President and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe was elected today (20) by the majority vote of the Members of Parliament.
The names of the Acting President and Prime Minister Hon. Ranil Wickremesinghe, Member of Parliament, Hon. Dullas Alahapperuma and Member of Parliament and Hon. Anura Dissanayaka were proposed yesterday (19) for the office of President.
Accordingly, at the election which was held today (20) in Parliament, Hon. Ranil Wickramasinghe received 134 votes whereas Hon. Dullas Alahapperuma received 82 votes. Hon. Anura Dissanayaka received 03 votes. To be elected for the office of succeeding president, a candidate should get 50% or more votes from the valid number of votes. Hon. Ranil Wickremesinghe had achieved the requisite number of votes. Accordingly, the number of valid votes were 219 out of which Ranil Wickremesinghe had obtained 134 votes.
The number of votes cast were 223 and two Parliamentarians abstained from voting. 4 votes were designated as invalid votes. Accordingly, the Secretary General of Parliament, Mr. Dhammika Dasanayake announced to the House that Hon. Ranil Wickremesinghe is to be elected as the Eighth Executive President. Also, according to the Presidential Elections (Special Provisions) Act (No. 2 of 1981), the relevant gazette notification is to be published within 3 days.
Hon. Ranil Wickremesinghe is thus qualified to hold the office of the President for the remaining term of the presidency, which was left vacant with the resignation of the former President, His Excellency Gotabaya Rajapaksa.
Hon. Ranil Wickremesinghe was elected to the 9th Parliament on June 23rd, 2021 as a National List Member representing the United National Party.
Born on March 24th, 1949, Hon. Ranil Wickremesinghe also held the position of Prime Minister of the previous Yahapalana government.
He started his political career as the chief organizer of the United National Party in Kelaniya Constituency in the mid of 1970 and was later appointed as the chief organizer of the Biyagama Constituency. In 1977, he was elected as a Member of Parliament for the first time and was the youngest cabinet minister in the J. R. Jayewardene government where he held the position of Minister of Youth Affairs and Employment.
He was the Minister of Foreign Affairs at the age of 28, and later served as the cabinet minister for Youth Affairs, Education and Industry, Science and Technology.
Hon. Ranil Wickremesinghe, who also served as the Leader of the House between March 06, 1989 and May 07, 1993, also served as the Leader of the Opposition in the Parliament of Sri Lanka from 1994 to 2001 and from 2004 to 2015.
He was first elected as the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka on May 7, 1993 and held that position until August 19, 1994. Hon. Ranil Wickremesinghe was the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka for the second time from December 9, 2001 to April 2, 2004, for the third time from January 9, 2015 to August 21, 2015, for the fourth time from August 24, 2015 to October 26, 2018, and for the fifth time from December 16, 2018 to November 21, 2019.
Thereafter, given the resignation of the former Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa on the 9th of May, Hon. Ranil Wickremesinghe returned to the post of Prime Minister on the 12th of the same month in the capacity of Prime Minister. Following the resignation of His Excellency Gotabaya Rajapaksa from the office of President, he became the Acting President from 14th as per the Constitution.
Hon. Ranil Wickremesinghe, an alumnus of the Royal College of Colombo, was later selected to the Faculty of Law of the University of Colombo and sworn in as a lawyer.