Voting is underway in Sri Lanka to elect a new president following the resignation of Gotabaya Rajapaksa. Acting Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe is among the top three candidates for the presidential election in which 225 members of the House are eligible to vote and participate in the secret ballot.
The other two candidates are SLPP parliamentarian Dullas Alahaperuma and National People’s Power (NPP) leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake. Main opposition leader of Sri Lanka Sajith Premadasa withdrew his candidature yesterday saying that he is supporting rival candidate Dullas Alahapperuma for the top post.
Premadasa took to Twitter to say that his party the Samagi Jana Balawegaya and its alliance and opposition partners will support Alahapperuma, an MP of the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP), who is in the fray for the upcoming presidential elections.
Premadasa said that he is heading with this decision as he seeks the "greater good" for Lankans. "For the greater good of my country that I love and the people I cherish I hereby withdraw my candidacy for the position of President. Samagi Jana Balawegaya and our alliance and our opposition partners will work hard towards making Dullas Alahaperuma victorious," he tweeted.
According to local media, Ranil Wickremesinghe and Dullas Alahaperuma are among the top two contenders. Alahapperuma was campaigning hard for the presidential race along with his prime ministerial candidate Sajith Premadasa in a bid to persuade the Tamil MPs to vote for Dullas, the Daily Mirror reported.
Earlier, former President Gotabaya Rajapaksa had offered his resignation after fleeing the country to Singapore. The president first flew to the Maldives after tens of thousands of protesters stormed his official residence in the capital Colombo.