Mahinda Rajapaksa justifies his appointment as PM, calls for snap parliamentary polls

WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India Oct 28, 2018, 09.51 PM(IST)

Sri Lanka's new Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa Photograph:( AFP )

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Rajapaksa said he agreed to become the prime minister as Sri Lankan economy was sinking

Amid the ongoing political turmoil in Sri Lanka, Mahinda Rajapakse, who was sworn in as the new Prime Minister, called for a snap parliamentary election to allow people vote for a new programme to overcome the island nation's economic and political crisis

In his first public statement after Maithripala Sirisena appointed him as the new premier after sacking Ranil Wickremesinghe, he said “The United National Party-United People’s Freedom Alliance (UNP-UPFA) government came to an end as the result of the UPFA leaving the coalition. I was invited to accept the position of PM with a view of forming a new govt.”

"The primary objective of the political party leaders and parliamentarians who have joined me is to immediately hold the provincial council elections that had been postponed continuously and also to call a parliamentary election as soon as possible so as to give the people the opportunity to vote for a programme that will bring the country out of the encompassing economic, political and social crisis," he said. 

Rajapaksa said he agreed to become the prime minister as Sri Lankan economy was sinking. He also promised to eschew hate as he sets up an interim government, according to his statement. 

However, Rajapaksa is expected to face challenges in the coming days as ousted PM Wickremesinghe had received the support of the Speaker.

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