Sri Lanka New President, Wickremesinghe sworn into Office

Sri Lanka’s Ranil Wickremesinghe has been sworn in as president, amid hopes that he will pull the country out of its economic suffering.

The 73-year-old took his oath at the tightly-guarded parliament complex on Thursday.

Mr Wickremesinghe – the former prime minister – is seen as deeply unpopular with the public, but some protesters have said they will give him a chance.

Sri Lanka is currently in the grip of mass unrest over an economic crisis.

Many blame the Rajapaksa administration for mishandling the crisis and see Mr Wickremesinghe as part of the problem – but there were few demonstrations on the streets the day after Mr Wickremesinghe won the parliament vote.

However security remained tight around government buildings in the capital.

“He is here – and we will see what his actions are. If we don’t get any food, any medicine, we’ll be on the streets,” said one woman who had joined protests last week.

Mr Wickremesinghe won a strong majority of the vote from lawmakers with the backing of the ruling party – the Sri Lanka’s People’s Front (SLPP).

He defeated his main rival for the job, Dullus Alahapperuma, a dissident ruling party MP with the support of the opposition- with 134 votes to 82.

Mr Wickremesinghe is aiming to restore political stability so the country can resume negotiations with the International Monetary fund for a bailout package.

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