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Mahinda becomes PM for the third time today

Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa will be sworn in as Prime Minister to head an interim government by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa at 1:00 pm at the Presidential Secretariat, his Media Secretary Rohan Welivita told RepublicNext.

This is the first time in Sri Lanka’s history that the President and the Prime Minister are siblings.

The new Prime Minister will assume office at the Flower Road Prime Minister’s Secretariat around 3:20 pm.

This is the third time in his life that Rajapaksa will become Prime Minister of Sri Lanka.

The first was when he was appointed PM by President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunge on April 6, 2004.

The second time was when, on October 26 last year, President Maithripala Sirisena sacked the incumbent Ranil Wickremesinghe and controversially appointed Rajapaksa as PM. That tenure ended after 52 days when his faction was unable to muster a majority in Parliament and Rajapaksa ceded to Wickremesinghe.

Today, Wickremesinghe steps aside for Rajapaksa to return as the 25th Prime Minister after the latter’s United National Party (UNP) suffered a defeat at the 16 November presidential election.

Rajapaksa was President for two terms as well and has been Leader of the Opposition twice.

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