Mahinda Rajapaksa sworn in as Sri Lankan Prime Minister amid political drama

Sri Lanka Former president Mahinda Rajapaksa sworn in as prime minister

President Sirisena said a letter had been delivered to Wickremesinghe saying he had been removed with immediate effect, as he was the person who appointed him under Article 42 (4).

Both Extraordinary Gazettes have been published by the Secretary to the President Udaya R. Seneviratne on Friday (26).

"I am the prime minister and I have the majority", Wickremesinghe said. "Former #SriLanka President Mahinda Rajapaksa sworn in as new Prime Minister", he said in the tweet.

Under Sri Lanka's constitution, modeled on the French system of government, the president has executive powers while the prime minister heads the parliament.

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Reacting sharply to his sacking, Mr. Wickremesinghe on Friday said that he will continue to be the prime minister till he enjoys the majority in Parliament. Since the constitution after the Nineteenth Amendment specifies these ways in which the prime minister ceases to hold office, and has impliedly removed the previous power of the president to remove the prime minister at will, it follows that there are no other ways in which this can happen.

"I remain as prime minister and I will function as the prime minister". When this provision speaks of the president's opinion, it contemplates not the subjective and personal opinion of the president as to which MP is best suited to be prime minister, but an objective and constitutional view formed by reference to who can command the confidence of parliament.

The constitution says the president has the right to appoint someone he thinks has a majority in Parliament. He replaced Ranil Wickremesinghe, reports Sri Lankan media. Sirisena was chosen president largely through votes from Wickremesinghe's party. The pair were reported to have clashed in cabinet last week over government plans to lease a container terminal to neighbouring India. Since then, party rivalries have been simmering within the government. One of them, Amal Prasanna, said the move was "totally unexpected" but that he was happy Rajapaksa had returned.

Mr Rajapaksa ended the civil war in 2009, but faced criticism for the means buy which he achieved victory - many thousands of Tamil civilians are thought to have been killed by government forces in the final months of the fighting. The main allegation against Wickremesinghe involved his appointment of a Singaporean as the central bank governor who is now accused of leaking inside information to benefit his son-in- law in a treasury bond sale.

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