Thursday, July 2, 2020 07:00:22 PM

Sri Lanka plunges into crisis as president sacks PM

Photo Gallery1 Photo By AFP - Fri Oct 26, 10:48 pm

Sri Lanka’s former president Mahinda Rajapakse beams as he arrives at a temple after having been sworn in as prime minister in Colombo. (AFP pic)

COLOMBO: President Maithripala Sirisena installed Sri Lanka’s controversial former strongman leader Mahinda Rajapakse as the country’s new prime minister Friday, in a shock move that plunged the island into an unprecedented constitutional crisis.

Sirisena’s office announced the surprise decision moments after he sacked incumbent premier Ranil Wickremesinghe, despite opponents saying he had no power to do so under the constitution.

Wickremesinghe insisted he was still the legitimate prime minister and would fight his dismissal in court.

“I am addressing you as the prime minister of Sri Lanka,” Wickremesinghe told reporters at a nationally televised press conference. “I remain as prime minister and I will function as the prime minister.”

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