Sri Lankan members of parliament have elected prime minister Ranil Wickeremesinghe as the country’s new president, according to local reports.

Wickeremesinghe roundly defeated party rival Dullus Alahapperuma, with 134 votes to 82 in the parliamentary vote on Wednesday.

The move came after Sri Lanka’s ex-president Gotabaya Rajapaksa had fled the country to Maldives and then Singapore amid mass protests over worse living conditions and lack of main services in the country.

Wickremesinghe, who was appointed prime minister in May, will strive to restore public order and stability in the country after months of demonstrations in Sri Lanka, which is effectively bankrupt and suffers serious food and fuel shortages


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