Ranil Wickremesinghe Set to Run Independently in Presidential Elections, Confirms Aide

According to the Chairman of the Election Commission, R M A L Ratnayake, the legal provision from the body will attain after July 17 for announcing the date, and the commission is keen to do this before the end of the month. Earlier, the election body had stated that it was conducting a presidential election date between September 17 and October 16, in accordance with the finalization of the electoral register—2024—which had more than 17 million eligible voters.

An aide to Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe announced that he would contest the upcoming presidential election as an independent candidate, local media reported on Sunday. His candidature was affirmed by the Deputy Chairman of the United National Party, Ruwan Wijewardene. He said that Wickremesinghe has a unique ability compared to all others to resolve the economic problems that have currently hit Sri Lanka. According to News 1st, Wijewardene indicated that Wickremesinghe has already proved that he has the ability to handle the crisis the economy is in by making tough decisions.

According to the Chairman of the Election Commission, R M A L Ratnayake, the legal provision from the body will attain after July 17 for announcing the date, and the commission is keen to do this before the end of the month. Earlier, the election body had stated that it was conducting a presidential election date between September 17 and October 16, in accordance with the finalization of the electoral register—2024—which had more than 17 million eligible voters.

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After Sri Lanka's first sovereign default since its independence in 1948, in April 2022, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa resigned in the face of countrywide civil unrest. This was over his handling of the crisis. Wickremesinghe was later elected through parliament in July 2022 to see out the remainder of Rajapaksa's term. Now as the finance minister, Wickremesinghe has been pushing tough economic reforms tied to an IMF program to steady the country's finances.

Though Wickremesinghe himself has not announced anything about re-election openly, the President's Media Division quoted him as saying that a system needs to be chosen that works for the progress of the country, not by mere individuals. weeks after his administration finalized a debt restructuring deal worth USD 5.8 billion with bilateral lenders such as India and China in Paris, a crucial condition for securing an IMF bailout.

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