Sri Lanka elects New President

Sri Lankan MPs have elected prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe as the country’s new president, despite his unpopularity with the public.

Mr Wickremesinghe faces the task of leading the country out of its economic collapse and restoring order after months of mass protests.

He roundly defeated his main rival for the job, Dullus Alahapperuma, with 134 votes to 82 in a parliamentary vote.

Sri Lanka’s ex-president Gotabaya Rajapaksa fled the country last week.

He bolted to the Maldives and then Singapore after thousands of protesters stormed his presidential residences and other government buildings, calling for his resignation.

They had also called for the resignation of Mr Wickremesinghe, a close ally of the Rajapaksa political family who was appointed prime minister in May.

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