He secured 134 votes in the 225-member House while his nearest rival and dissident ruling party leader Dullas Alahapperuma got 82. Leftist Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake secured just three votes during the voting held in Parliament amidst tight security.
The 73-year-old was sworn in as the 8th Executive President of Sri Lanka at the Parliament complex before Chief Justice Jayantha Jayasuriya. In attendance at the ceremony were former President Maithripala Sirisena and former Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa.
Wickremesinghe, who took over as the Acting President after his predecessor Gotabaya Rajapaksa fled the country and resigned last week, is the first Sri Lankan president to be elected by Parliament following a vote. former prime minister Mahinda Rajapaksa
Former president Maithripala SirisenaTough Road Ahead for Wickremesinghe
The six-time prime minister will face the tough task of leading the country out of its economic crisis and restoring order after months of mass protests.
Wickremesinghe's victory could inflame the situation as many anti-government protesters see him as tied to the erstwhile Rajapaksa regime, blamed for the country's worst economic crisis since independence in 1948.
Protests erupted in Sri Lanka on Wednesday after Wickremesinghe, was elected as the next president of the country. Visuals from the island nation's capital, Colombo, showed sloganeering and protests underway outside the Presidential Secretariat building.
Wickremesinghe will have a mandate to serve out the rest of Rajapaksa's term, which ends in November 2024.
(With inputs from PTI.)