Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has resigned from his post, the Prime Minister’s Office said.
His resignation comes after opposition Presidential candidate Gotabaya Rajapaksa was elected President at the just concluded Presidential election.
In a special statement the Prime Minister said that he had met President Gotabaya Rajapaksa yesterday and discussed the future of Sri Lanka’s Parliament.
He said that while his Government still has the majority in Parliament it was decided to respect the mandate given to Rajapaksa at the Presidential election and step down.
Several members of the cabinet have already resigned in order to allow the new President to appoint a caretaker cabinet till the Parliamentary election.
Under the Constitution the Prime Minister can remain in office till the next Parliamentary election.
However after pressure from within his own party Wickremesinghe decided to step down.
Wickremesinghe thanked all those who supported him and were critical of him during his term in office.
“During my tenure as Prime Minister, I faced both praise and insult. I thank all those who praised me and insulted me, this was a sign of the freedoms we have re-installed in the country,” he said.
The Parliamentary election is scheduled to be held in April next year.
Rajapaksa has already indicated he will appoint a 15 member caretaker cabinet till the Parliamentary election.
Wickremesinghe was appointed Prime Minister in January 2015 after then President Maithripala Sirisena won the 2015 Presidential election. (Colombo Gazette)