Ranil Wickremesinghe has been sworn in as Sri Lanka’s eighth president by the country’s chief justice amidst months of protest and economic crisis.
The six-time prime minister has never served a full term. He took the oath of office on Thursday.
Wickremesinghe won 134 votes in the 225-member parliament in a secret vote on Wednesday, after former president Gotabaya Rajapaksa fled the country.
The islanders run out of foreign exchange reserves limiting essential imports of fuel, food and medicine. The island nation’s inflation rate touched 54.6% year-over-year in June while food inflation shot up to 80%.
Wickremesinghe was up against the Opposition-backed candidate Dullas Alahapperuma and Marxist party leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake in a three-way contest.
While Alahapperuma secured 82 votes, Dissanayake got only three.
He is backed by the Rajapaksas’ Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna, which remains the largest party in the 225-member Parliament.