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Ranil Wickremesinghe may return as Lankan PM amid crisis: Reports -by Ecork

Sri Lanka crisis: Mr. Wickremesinghe has served as prime minister of the country four times.

Colombo:

Media reports said Thursday that former Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, who holds just one seat in the 225-member parliament, could become the next prime minister, amid the debt-laden island nation’s worst economic crisis.

The 73-year-old United National Party leader held talks with President Gotabaya Rajapaksa on Wednesday and is expected to meet him again on Thursday, Colombo Page reported.

Wickremesinghe, who had served as prime minister four times, was dismissed in October 2018 as prime minister by then-president Maithripala Sirisena. However, Sirisena reinstated him as Prime Minister two months later.

According to political sources, members of Sri Lanka’s ruling Bodogana Peramuna, a section of the main opposition Samajji Jana Balawijaya (SJB) and several other parties have expressed their support to show Mr Wickremesinghe a majority in Parliament, she said.

The report said Mr Wickremesinghe would be sworn in as prime minister on Thursday or Friday.

UNP chief Vajira Abywardena said Mr Wickremesinghe would be able to secure a majority in parliament after he was sworn in as prime minister, replacing Mahinda Rajapaksa, who resigned on Monday.

The United National Party, the country’s oldest party, won just one seat in the last parliamentary elections in 2020.

In a late-night televised address to the nation, the president on Wednesday refused to resign but promised to appoint a new prime minister and a young cabinet this week to introduce major constitutional reforms to limit his powers, amid protests over the country’s worst economy. The crisis that toppled his older brother Mahinda Rajapaksa who is under protection at a naval base after violent attacks on his aides.

Sri Lanka is facing its worst economic crisis since gaining independence from Britain in 1948. The cause of the crisis is partly due to a shortage of foreign currency, which means the country cannot afford imports of basic foodstuffs and fuel, resulting in a severe shortage and high prices.

Thousands of protesters have taken to the streets across Sri Lanka since April 9, calling for the Rajapaksa brothers’ resignation.

(This story has not been edited by the NDTV crew and is automatically generated from a shared feed.)

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