Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe sworn in as interim president and pledges to restore law and order

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe is sworn in as Sri Lanka’s interim president until parliament elects a successor to Gotabaya Rajapaksa, who resigned after mass protests over the country’s economic collapse left him forced out of office.

Sri Lanka’s speaker of parliament said Mr Rajapaksa resigned as speaker on Thursday and politicians would meet on Saturday to choose a new leader.

Their choice would serve the remainder of Mr Rajapaksa’s term ending in 2024, President Mahinda Yapa Abeywardana said.

He expects the process to be completed in seven days.

Mr. Wickremesinghe will lead the country in the meantime.

The next president could potentially appoint a new prime minister, who would then have to be approved by parliament.

With Mr. Rajapaksa expelled, the pressure on Mr. Wickremesinghe was increasing.

Ranil Wickremesinghe will serve as interim president of Sri Lanka until a new leader is chosen.(AP: He announced Jayawardena)

In a televised statement on Friday, Mr Wickremesinghe said that in the short term he would take steps to amend the constitution to reduce presidential powers and strengthen parliament.

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