Sri Lanka’s President Gotabaya Rajapaksa fled his official residence in Colombo on Saturday moments before thousands of protesters broke through police barricades and stormed the compound. The protestors have been demanding the resignation of Gotabaya Rajapaksa amid the unprecedented economic crisis.
With Ranil Wickremesinghe stepping down as Sri Lanka’s Prime Minister, questions have now emerged about whether President Gotabaya Rajapaksa will remain in office or not.
WHAT HAPPENS IF THE PRESIDENT RESIGNS?
If the President of Sri Lanka, Gotabaya Rajapaksa, tenders his resignation prior to the expiration of his term of office, then Parliament should select one of its members as the President. The new appointment has to be made within one month’s time from the resignation of the President.
PARLIAMENT MUST MEET IN THREE DAYS
If the President resigns, a meeting of the Parliament must be convened within three days of his resignation. In the meeting, the Secretary General of Parliament must inform the Parliament about the resignation of the President. A date has to be fixed to receive the nominations for the vacant post.
HOW WILL THE PROCESS HAPPEN?
If only one member of Parliament is nominated for the post, then the Secretary-General must declare that the individual has been elected to the office. If more than one person is nominated, then a secret ballot will be held and the person should be elected by an absolute majority of votes cast.
WHAT WILL HAPPEN TILL A NEW PRESIDENT IS ELECTED?
According to the Sri Lankan constitution, the current prime minister will become the acting president. So, in this case, if Gotabaya Rajapaksa resigns as President, then Ranil Wickremesinghe would become the Acting President for less than a month until the Parliament elects a new President.
One of the ministers of the Cabinet shall be appointed to act in the office of the Prime Minister. The newly elected President can hold the office for the remaining period.