Ranil Wickremesinghe, leader of Sri Lanka’s center-right and oldest political party United National Partywill take oath as the new Prime Minister of island nation on Thursday to end the political deadlock in the country.
Wickremesinghe, who will take charge as Prime Minister for the sixth time will be administered the oath by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa at 6 p.m. local time.
The Prime Minister’s post had fallen vacant after the resignation of Mahinda Rajapaksa on Monday.
Mahinda Rajapaksha resigned following violent clashes that erupted when his supporters attacked a month-long protest carried out by non-political anti-government supporters. The protesters have been demanding the resignation of the Rajapaksa government and the President amidst a severe financial crisis involving shortages of essentials, including food, fuel, medicine, cooking gas and hours of power outages.
On Wednesday night, while addressing the nation President Gotabaya announced that a new PM and a government would be formed to fill up the positions vacated by his brother Mahinda and his government.
Gotabaya also said that he would work on reintroducing the 19th Amendment curtailing powers of the Executive President which he himself enjoys and giving much powers to Parliament.
He also agreed to abolish the Presidential system. Rajapaksa said the new government would be run by a Prime Minister who can command the majority in Parliament.
However, it is not yet clear as to how Wickremesinghe would be able command a majority given that his party is limited to just one seat out of 225 MPs.
The news of Wickremesinghe’s appointment comes a day after his talks with President Gotabaya Rajapaksa.