Sri Lanka’s ex-president Mahinda Rajapaksa sworn in as Prime Minister

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Former Sri Lankan president Mahinda Rajapaksa. (PTI Photo)

In a dramatic turn of events in Sri Lanka, former President Mahinda Rajapaksa was officially sworn in as the island nation’s Prime Minister on Friday. Reuters cited television reports that showed Rajapaksa being sworn in as the country’s Prime Minister in the presence of President Maithripala Sirisena and several other opposition leaders.

The abrupt political development surfaced in the wake of President Sirisena’s United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) declaration that it has called off the coalition with former Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe’s United National Party (UNP). This led to President Sirisena appointing Rajapaksa as the Prime Minister, replacing Wickremesinghe as the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka, which follows a semi-presidential mode of government.

Former Sri Lankan president @PresRajapaksa sworn in as Prime Minister before President Maithripala Sirisena, a development that evolved in the last one or two hours. @IndianExpress

— Arun Janardhanan (@arunjei) October 26, 2018

The coalition government was formed in 2015 when Sirisena was elected as the President with Wickremesinghe’s support, ending an almost a decade-long rule by strongman president Rajapaksa.

READ | Churn in the Neighbourhood: Sri Lanka | President v PM v ex-President

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