New Sri Lankan president divisive choice for fixing crisis

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) – Sri Lanka’s prime minister has been elected president by lawmakers who opted for a seasoned, veteran leader to lead the country out of economic collapse.

Ranil Wickremesinghe is an ally of the ousted president whose term he is finishing after he fled the country and resigned.

The new leader on Wednesday urged fellow lawmakers to unite in saving the nation.

But he is a divisive figure and unpopular among a public fed up with shortages of food, fuel and medicine.

He has already served six terms as prime minister and as finance minister and has been leading negotiations on a bailout package with the International Monetary Fund.

Last week he declared a state of emergency after protesters stormed the presidential palace and his office.