The race for who succeeds Boris Johnson as prime minister of the United Kingdom has been reduced to two candidates as the country waits in anxious moments.
The two top candidates are Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss after the Conservative Party leadership race was on Wednesday narrowed down to the final two.
Johnson resigned as party leader earlier this month after a series of scandals led to dozens of ministerial resignations. Ten Conservatives stood in the contest to replace him, and over five rounds of voting, members of parliament whittled those down to two.
Sunak won 137 votes and Truss got 113 votes in the final round, while Penny Mordaunt with 105 votes lost out.
Now about 160,000 rank-and-file members of the party will have their say, and in September the winner and next prime minister will be unveiled.
Meanwhile, the Sri Lankan Parliament on Wednesday elected former prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe as president of the crisis-hit South Asian country, in a move likely to anger protesters who have been demanding his removal from office for weeks.
Wickremesinghe – a six-time former prime minister and key ally of former president Gotabaya Rajapaksa, won a parliamentary ballot after his predecessor fled the country amid escalating protests over an economic crisis marked by dire shortages of essential imports such as fuel, medicine and food.
He received 134 votes from a possible 223.
Addressing parliament shortly after the result, Wickremesinghe said while the country had been “divided on party lines” the “time has now come to work together.”
Earlier this month, protesters set Wickremesinghe’s private residence on fire and overran the presidential palace in a desperate attempt to overthrow the government and end the chaos that has enveloped Sri Lanka since March.