Sri Lanka parliament to elect new president on July 20: Official

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Sri Lanka’s parliament will vote on a new president Wednesday, the speaker’s office said Friday following the resignation of Gotabaya Rajapaksa after he was driven out of the country.

Nominations for the post of president will be received on Tuesday and MPs are due to vote the following day, Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardana’s office said in a brief statement.

Separately on Friday, Sri Lanka’s Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe was sworn in as acting president, his office said, replacing Rajapaksa who fled to Singapore following months of protest against him.

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Protesters who had occupied government buildings retreated Thursday, restoring a tenuous calm.

The protesters accuse Rajapaksa and his powerful political family of siphoning money from government coffers for years and his administration of hastening the country’s collapse by mismanaging the economy.

The family has denied the corruption allegations, but Rajapaksa acknowledged that some of his policies contributed to the meltdown.

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