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Lankan President names elder brother as PM

Posted in S. Asia

Published on November 22, 2019 with No Comments

Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has named his elder brother Mahinda Rajapaksa as the new Prime Minister after incumbent Ranil Wickremesinghe announced his resignation following the election debacle.

Mahinda, the main opposition leader, was appointed as Prime Minister after incumbent Wickremesinghe stepped down formally on Thursday. Mahinda was appointed the PM on October 26, 2018 by the then President Maithripala Sirisena, who sacked Wickremesinghe in a controversial move that plunged the country into an unprecedented constitutional crisis. He resigned in December as two crucial Supreme Court decisions made the former strongman’s efforts to cling to premiership untenable. The apex court later unanimously declared that the dissolution of Parliament by Sirisena was “illegal”. Mahinda won power in 2005 and went on to become South Asia’s longest-serving leader. He became the country’s youngest ever parliamentarian in 1970 at the age of 24.

The two brothers led a decisive campaign that helped end the island nation’s three decade long civil war against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). Earlier in the day, Wickremesinghe announced his resignation, days after the ruling party’s candidate lost the poll to Rajapaksa, who defeated Sajith Premadasa.

 

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