WORLD Former Sri Lankan president sworn in as new prime minister

WORLD

Former Sri Lankan president sworn in as new prime minister

Xinhua

09:46, October 27, 2018

COLOMBO, Oct. 26 (Xinhua) -- Former Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse was sworn in as the new prime minister at the Presidential Secretariat in capital Colombo on Friday, a government official said.

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Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena (R) looking at former Sri Lankan president Mahinda Rajapakse (L) as Rajapakse is sworn in as new Prime Minister, in Colombo on October 26, 2018. (Photos: VCG)

Rajapakse took the oath in front of President Maithripala Sirisena shortly after the Sirisena-led United People's Freedom Alliance (UPFA) withdrew from the national coalition government.

Sirisena sacked Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and appointed Rajapakse as the new prime minister after UPFA's withdrawal, according to local media reports.

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Sri Lanka's former president and new prime minister Mahinda Rajapakse receives blessings from a Buddhist monk as he offers prayers at a temple after having been sworn in as prime minister in Colombo on October 26, 2018.

The coalition government consisted of the UPFA and the United National Party (UNP), led by Wickremesinghe.

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Sri Lanka's former president and new prime minister Mahinda Rajapakse (C) arrives at a temple after having been sworn in as prime minister in Colombo on October 26, 2018. 

Meanwhile, Finance Minister and UNP legislator Mangala Samaraweera in a statement called the appointment of Rajapakse "unconstitutional," while another cabinet minister said UNP would challenge the move in court.

Wickremesinghe was quoted by local media as saying that "I am still the Prime Minister."    

UPFA General Secretary Mahinda Amaraweera said that Speaker of Parliament Karu Jayasuriya had been informed of UPFA'a decision.

Cover image: Former Sri Lankan president Mahinda Rajapakse (L) handing over documents to Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena (R) as Rajapakse is sworn in as new Prime Minister, in Colombo on October 26, 2018. 

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