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Sri Lanka President Gotabaya names brother Mahinda Rajapaksa as Prime Minister

ANI  |  Asia 

Sri Lanka's newly-elected President Gotabaya Rajapaksa on Wednesday named his elder brother and former President Mahinda Rajapaksa as the new prime minister after Ranil Wickremesinghe announced his resignation, the state media reported.

The announcement came after a special Cabinet meeting was held earlier today, after which Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe announced his resignation from the post, paving the way for newly-elected President to appoint a new Cabinet.

Sri Lanka's Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has resigned to allow the new President Gotabaya Rajapaksa to form a care-taker government until the general elections in March 2020. The President has reportedly decided to appoint a caretaker cabinet with 15 members until the General Elections which can be held in March 2020 after dissolving the current parliament according to the constitution, Colombo Page reported.

Wickremesinghe had discussed this matter when he met Rajapaksa on Tuesday.

Rajapaksa is expected to appoint a small Cabinet for a brief period till the dissolution of the Parliament after March 1, 2020.

Leaders of the parties that backed Rajapaksa during the presidential polls will be given preference in the Cabinet. According to sources, the Cabinet will have 15 members.

70-year old Rajapaksa defeated United National Party (UNP) candidate Sajith Premadasa by more than 13 lakh votes in the recently concluded presidential elections, the country's election commission said on Sunday.

On Monday, Rajapaksa took oath as the president at Ruwanweliseya, a Buddhist pagoda, in Anuradhapura, situated in northcentral Sri Lanka. He is the second member of the Rajapaksa family to become the president.

His older brother Mahinda Rajapaksa served as president from 2005 to 2015.

The Rajapaksa brothers are credited with brutally crushing the Tamil Tigers a decade ago to end Sri Lanka's civil war, with the security services they controlled accused of war crimes and multiple human rights abuses.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, November 20 2019. 19:32 IST
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