COLOMBO, Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka’s Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe on Wednesday announced his resignation, following his party’s candidate Sajith Premadasa suffered a defeat at Saturday’s presidential election.

“Even though we command the majority in Parliament, based on the people’s mandate received by Mr. [Gotabaya] Rajapaksa, we have decided to make way to allow him to form a government,” Wickremesinghe said in a statement issued to the media.

“I respect democracy, hence I have decided to resign as the prime minister,” he added.

Wickremesinghe said he will formally inform newly elected President Rajapaksa of his decision in writing.

Following his resignation,

Read more: Sri Lanka’s PM quits as party losses presidential polls