Global Political Calendar: UK PM race down to 2 contenders, Sri Lanka to see new president

Next week, the United Kingdom will see the contenders for the position of new ruling Conservative Party leader and the country's next prime minister down to two contenders, and Sri Lanka will elect a new president, helping bring a dose of stability in both countries' politics. 

UK prime minister race: down to two contenders by July 21

Five candidates have made it to the next ballot round in the race to be the leader of the Conservative Party and replace outgoing Boris Johnson as prime minister of the United Kingdom after the second round of voting finished on Thursday.

Rishi Sunak, former Chancellor of the Exchequer, topped the second round with 101 votes from the Tory lawmakers, according to the Conservative Party backbench 1922 Committee, which runs the leadership contest. The other four survivors are International Trade Minister Penny Mordaunt (83 votes); Foreign Secretary Liz Truss (64 votes); former Equalities Minister Kemi Badenoch (49 votes); and backbench lawmaker Tom Tugendhat (32 votes).

The third ballot is scheduled on Monday and the 1922 Committee aims to whittle down the field to two candidates in successive rounds of voting before the British parliamentarians break up for the summer recess on July 21.

The final two contenders will then go through a postal ballot of all the Conservative members, numbering around 200,000, over the summer and the winner will be announced on September 5, becoming the new Tory leader and the UK's next prime minister.

A YouGov poll published Wednesday showed that Mordaunt was the favorite among Conservative Party members, beating any of the others in a head-to-head run-off.

The Tory leadership race was triggered after Johnson was forced to bow to the inevitable last week by an avalanche of resignations of cabinet ministers and other junior government officials who protested against his scandal-plagued leadership. Johnson continues to serve as caretaker prime minister until a new Tory leader succeeds him.

Sri Lanka to elect new president on July 20

Sri Lanka's parliament was informed of on Saturday Gotabaya Rajapaksa's resignation from presidency as his resignation letter was read to the legislators.

Speaker of Parliament Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena convened the parliament to announce that the seat of the president has become vacant.

The parliament is expected to elect a new president on July 20, and nominations for the presidency will be accepted on July 19.

Sri Lanka's Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe was on Friday sworn in as an acting president following the resignation of Rajapaksa and said he himself will contest for the presidency on July 20.

Opposition leader Sajith Premadasa and legislators Anura Kumara Dissanayake and Dullas Alahapperuma have also announced their intention to enter the race for the presidency.

Sri Lanka has been in the midst of a severe economic turmoil for months, which has led to a shortage of basic supplies such as food, gas and fuel.

Day by day

Monday: South Korean Foreign Minister Park Jin is planning to visit Japan to meet with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida; German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi hold a news conference following their meeting in Berlin; India holds presidential election; French President Emmanuel Macron meets President of the United Arab Emirates Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan in Paris (to Tuesday); EU Foreign Affairs Council meeting; Nelson Mandela International Day.

Tuesday: Russian President Vladimir Putin meets his Türkiye's counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi to discuss Syria during a visit to Tehran; EU-Azerbaijan Cooperation Council.

Wednesday: Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa addresses parliament in State of the Nation debate.

Thursday: Contenders of the new leader of the UK's Conservative Party is expected to be narrowed down to two.

Friday – Sunday: Quiet days in politics.

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