November 20, 2019 / 2:29 PM / 23 days ago

New Sri Lankan leader's brother to be sworn in as PM: spokesman

FILE PHOTO: Sri Lanka People's Front party presidential election candidate and former wartime defence chief Gotabaya Rajapaksa (L) helps his brother former president and opposition leader Mahinda Rajapaksa to remove a cloth offered by a Hindu priest during the launching ceremony of his election manifesto in Colombo, Sri Lanka October 25, 2019. REUTERS/Dinuka Liyanawatte

COLOMBO (Reuters) - New Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s brother, former president Mahinda Rajapaksa, will be sworn in as the country’s new prime minister on Thursday, their party spokesman said on Wednesday.

“Mahinda Rajapaksa will be sworn in at 1.00 p.m. (0730 GMT) and assume office at 3.00 p.m.,” Keheliya Rambukwella, the spokesman for Mahinda-led Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) told Reuters.

Current Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said on Wednesday he would resign on Thursday after his party’s candidate lost a presidential election. Mahinda Rajapaksa was president from 2005-2015.

Reporting by Shihar Aneez; Editing by Catherine Evans

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