COLOMBO: Sri Lanka‘s former president Mahinda Rajapaka was sworn in on Sunday as the country’s new prime minister at a historic Buddhist temple.
The 74-year-old Sri Lanka People’s Party (SLPP) leader was administered the oath of office for the ninth Parliament by his younger brother and President Gotabaya Rajapaksa at the sacred Rajamaha Viharaya in Kelaniya, a north Colombo suburb.
The SLPP, led by Mahinda, registered a landslide victory in the August 5 general election, securing two-thirds majority in Parliament needed to amend the Constitution to further consolidate the powerful Rajapaksa family‘s grip on power.
Mahinda polled over 500,000 individual preference votes — the highest ever recorded by a candidate in the history of elections.
The SLPP won in 145 constituencies, bagging a total of 150 seats with its allies, a two-thirds majority in the 225-member Parliament.