COLOMBO: The new Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa Wednesday appointed his brother Mahinda Rajapaksa as Prime Minister.
Mahinda, a two-term president, will be sworn in as a new Prime Minister on Thursday after Ranil Wickremesinghe resigned following his party’s defeat.
Rajapaksa, according to the administration, will be sworn in by his younger brother Gotabaya.
The Rajapaksas are known to have worked against Tamil Tigers to end the country’s civil war and are accused of human rights abuses.
“Prime Minister Rajapaksa will have his cabinet which will be appointed shortly after taking the oath of office,” Vijayananda Herath, an official spokesman said.
On Wednesday, Wickremesinghe stepped down.
“We enjoy a parliamentary majority, but we respect the mandate received by Mr. Rajapaksa and we have decided to allow him to form a new government,” Wickremesinghe in an address to the nation said.
Gotabaya of Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP), in a near-close fight, defeated Sajith Premadasa of the ruling United National Party (UNP) with 52.25% votes, while his rival was polled 41.99% of the total votes.