Anticipation builds as Sri Lanka waits for new president

STORY: Currently, the former prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, is serving as an interim leader to oversee the constitutional process to elect new leadership.

But political watchers say the overthrow of the Rajapaksa, his brother and former prime minister Mahinda Rajapaksa as well as another brother Basil under whose stewardship of the finance ministry the country fell into a financial and economic abyss, is far from enough to placate the nation.

"We need political stability to form the basis of our economic recovery. And political stability means you have to have leadership in the country that is trusted and people have confidence in it. That unfortunately is where Ranil Wickremesinghe falls short," says policy expert and veteran political analyst Pokiasothy Saravanamuttu.

Wickremesinghe, who protesters want gone too, was selected as the ruling party's candidate for president on Friday (July 15), leading to the prospect of further unrest should he be elected. The opposition's presidential nominee is Sajith Premadasa, while the potential dark horse is senior ruling party lawmaker Dullas Alahapperuma.

The new president will inherit a country in crisis that is likely to see a contraction of more than six percent of the economy this year as the turmoil will affect discussions on financial relief with the International Monetary Fund, the governor of the country's central bank told The Wall Street Journal.

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