Hours after news emerged that Sri Lanka Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe expressed his feelings to step down from his role and let an all-party government take over, the 73-year-old announced his departure on Twitter.

Sri Lanka has been under financial turmoil in the recent months, which saw the exodus of former PM Mahinda Rajapaksha. While Ranil Wickremesinghe replaced him in power, financial instability continued as food and electricity shortages soared. The instability reached a boiling point on Saturday, when protesters stormed the residence of President Gotabaya Rajapaksha, who fled.

Also Read: Prez flees protestors, PM resigns: Complete timeline of Sri Lanka crisis

However, as a political power vacuum takes over in the island nation, a number of candidates are being touted to be in the running to become the next PM. Let’s take a look at who they are.

Karu Jayasuriya

National Movement for Social Justice (NMSJ) Chairman and former Speaker Karu Jayasuriya could become one of the frontrunners to become the next PM of Sri Lanka. The 81-year-old was an independent candidate to replace former PM Mahinda Rajapaksha and it will not be surprising if he puts in his name in the hat.

Karu has been a vocal supporter of the all-party government, however, is not without reservations. “We would like to warn all political forces in the country of the possible dangerous and tragic situation that may arise if the country is not guided down a path of immediate and practical political change,” he recently said. 

He has also asked for a short tenure for the all-party government, ideally between 12-18 months. Karu has also expressed that the primary objective of the government should be to tackle the financial crisis immediately while the secondary aim should be to reform the political sphere.

Dullas Alahapperuma

The 63-year-old is one of the 16 SLPP MPs to urge the President to resign. The politician has been another vocal supporter of an all-party government. In his letter to the President in April, he underlined the importance of appointing one to the power.

“The prime goal of such an administration must be to face the challenge of laying a permanent foundation for national unity and sovereignty and setting the country’s economic and political agenda through broad consensus in a set period of time,” he wrote.

Also Read: Where is Gotabaya Rajapaksa? Sri Lanka president flees as protestors storm residence

Sajith Premadasa

The current leader of the opposition, Premdasa had the opportunity to become the PM of the island nation when Mahinda Rajapaksha left his position earlier in the year. However, he was unwilling to take up the responsibility, citing a number of conditions, one of which was the resignation of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa.

However, since the President has fled from his residence and political pressure is mounting on him to resign from the role, it’s safe to assume that Premdasa will be one of the frontrunners to become the PM.