NEWYou can now listen to Fox News articles!
Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa resigned Thursday after feeling the country amid an economic crisis in the country.
Sri Lanka’s Parliament Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeyweardana made the announcement Friday. The country’s Parliament will convene on Saturday to begin the process of selecting a new president. The country hopes to have a new president within the next seven days.
Rajapaksa fled Sri Lanka Wednesday after protesters swarmed his home and other government offices. The protesters accuse Rajapaksa of stealing money from the government for years. They also accuse his administration of mismanaging the economy causing it to collapse. Rajapaksa has acknowledged that some of his policies contributed to the meltdown.
Months of protests reached a frenzied peak over the weekend when demonstrators stormed the president’s home and office and the official residence of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe. On Wednesday, they seized Wickremesinghe’s office.
SRI LANKA PRESIDENT FLEES COUNTRY, PROTESTERS STORM PRIME MINISTER’S OFFICE AS STATE OF EMERGENCY IS DECLARED
The demonstrators initially vowed to hold those places until a new government was in place, but the movement shifted tactics Thursday, apparently concerned that any escalation in violence could undermine their message following clashes the previous night outside the Parliament that left dozens injured.
Rajapaksa’s replacement would serve as president for the remainder of his term, which ends in 2024. The new leader could potentially select a new prime minister, who Parliament would have to approve.
ECONOMIC PROTESTS RAGE WORLDWIDE AS CHALLENGES FROM INFLATION, UKRAINE WAR, CORONAVIRUS MOUNT
The country of about 22 million people is undergoing a severe foreign exchange shortage, which has limited essential imports of fuel, food and medicine. The shortage has pushed the island into its worst financial situation in 70 years.
Sri Lanka has not been receiving fuel shipments in recent weeks, forcing school closures and limiting petrol and diesel for essential services. Residents are skipping meals to line up for hours for scarce fuel.
CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP
And the nation’s inflation levels are soaring. Sri Lanka’s inflation reached 54.6% in June.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.