Sri Lanka: Mahinda Rajapaksa takes oath as prime minister for fourth time



Mahinda Rajapaksa was on Sunday sworn in as the prime minister of Sri Lanka for the fourth time, three days after his party declared a victory in the country’s 2020 General Elections.

Mahinda Rajapaksa took oath before Sri Lankan President and his younger brother Gotabaya Rajapaksa at the Kelaniya Raja Maha Buddhist temple outside Colombo.

“I am humbled by the opportunity given to me to serve my people again,” he wrote on Twitter. “The trust that Sri Lankans afford me, inspires me to continue serving my nation. President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, the new Podujana Peramuna government and I will ensure that the country embarks on a progressive journey during our tenure.”

The Rajapaksa brothers’ party won 145 of the 225 seats in Parliament, and five more seats from its allies, thus giving it an exact two-thirds majority. The winning party secured 68.53 lakh votes, followed by the Samagi Jana Balawegaya, which won 27.71 lakh votes. The turnout in the elections, held on August 5 amid the coronavirus pandemic, was, more than 75%.

Former Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe’s United National Party won no seats in the new Parliament, down from 106 in the outgoing Parliament. The new main Opposition is now the Samagi Jana Balawegaya, a group established by the son of former President Ranasinghe Premadasa, who was assassinated in 1993. The group has won 47 seats in Parliament.

Mahinda Rajapaksa served as Sri Lanka’s president from 2005 to 2015. He was appointed the prime minister in 2004 and briefly in 2018 and 2019.





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