Sri Lankan PM to step down, clearing way for new president

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COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe plans to step down, clearing the way for Parliament to choose a new prime minister to work with newly elected President Gotabaya Rajapaksa.

Wickremesinghe’s office said in a statement Wednesday that he will submit his resignation to the president on Thursday.

A lawmaker supporting Rajapaksa said a new prime minister will be announced when the president receives Wickremesinghe’s resignation.

The move clears the first hurdle for Rajapaksa in appointing his own Cabinet. Under the constitution, Wickremesinghe can continue as prime minister until March, when the president can legally dissolve Parliament.

Rajapaksa won last Saturday’s presidential election, beating Sajith Premadasa, the candidate of Wickremesinghe’s party.

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