The vacancy in the office of President of Sri Lanka was announced in the House this morning, by Secretary-General of Parliament Dhammika Dasanayake.
The parliament met at 10.00 a.m. today under the provisions of the Presidential Elections (Special Provisions) Act, No. 02 of 1981, after former President Gotabaya Rajapaksa vacated the office effective from the 14th of July.
The letter of resignation submitted by Rajapaksa to the Speaker was also read out in the House.
A parliamentary vote is scheduled for July 20 (Wednesday) to elect a Member of Parliament, who is qualified to be elected to as the Head of State, to hold office for the unexpired period of the term of office of the President vacating office.
Accordingly, the nominations will be accepted on July 19, after the parliament convenes at 10.00 a.m., the Secretary-General announced further.
Explaining the procedure, the Secretary-General said, a Member of Parliament who wishes to nominate a fellow member for election to the office of President is required to obtain their prior written consent, indicating that such member is willing to serve if elected. Also, the MP proposed for candidacy must be present in Parliament that day.
If only one member is nominated and seconded, they be declared by the Secretary-General to have been elected to the office of President. However, if more than one member is proposed and seconded, the parliament is required to fix a date and time for the holding of the election. That date should not be later than forty-eight hours from the time of receiving nominations, he added.
On the dates fixed for the receipt of nominations and for the holding of the election, the Secretary-General will act as the returning officer.