Sri Lanka’s former president Mahinda Rajapaksa took the oath of office as the county’s prime minister for the fourth time on Sunday.
President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Mahinda’s younger brother, led the swearing-in ceremony at the prominent Buddhist temple of Kelaniya Raja Maha, on the outskirts of capital Colombo.
The Sri Lanka People’s Front, led by the Rajapaksa brothers, secured a nearly two-thirds majority at the parliamentary elections held Wednesday, which would allow them to make constitutional changes and strengthen the family’s rule in the country.
Mahinda served as Sri Lanka’s president from 2005 to 2015. He enjoys a strong support by the Sinhalese majority in the country for ending the 25-year civil war against Tamil rebels in 2009.
He was first elected prime minister in 2004 and was appointed for brief periods to hold the post in 2018 and 2019.
The Sri Lanka People’s Front now holds 145 seats in the 225-member parliament.
The next largest party in parliament has 54 seats. A party representing the Tamil minority won 10 seats, and 12 smaller parties won 16 seats all together.
Source: Voice of America