Former Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa (file photo)
Former Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa (file photo)

Mahinda Rajapaksa named Sri Lanka's opposition leader

ANI | Updated: Dec 18, 2018 20:20 IST

Colombo [Sri Lanka], Dec 18 (ANI): Former Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa on Tuesday became the country's main opposition leader in Parliament, days after he resigned as the disputed prime minister that threw the island nation into unprecedented political chaos for nearly two months.
The 73-year-old leader was appointed to the post by Speaker Karu Jayasuriya, replacing Tamil National Alliance (TNA) leader R Sampanthan, Colombo Page reported.
Rajapaksa's appointment comes after United National Party (UNP) leader Ranil Wickremesinghe was reinstated as the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka earlier this week that ended a 51-day political stand-off in the island nation.
During the power struggle, Rajapaksa left the United People's Freedom Alliance (UPFA) party and obtained the membership of the Sri Lanka People's Party (SLPP).
The island nation was engulfed in a constitutional turmoil after President Maithripala Sirisena, on October 26, abruptly ousted Wickremesinghe as Prime Minister and appointed Rajapaksa as the new premier. Sirisena later dissolved the Sri Lankan Parliament, almost 20 months before its term was to end, and ordered a snap election.
However, the country's Supreme Court overturned Sirisena's decision to dissolve Parliament and halted the preparations for snap polls.
Rajapaksa also lost the no-confidence motion twice, after he failed to prove his majority in the Parliament.
A Sri Lankan court had also passed an interim order against Rajapaksa which barred him from holding the Prime Minister office.
His son, Namal Rajapaksa, had said that his father was stepping down from the post to "ensure the stability of the nation". (ANI)