Five-time former Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has been reappointed for a sixth time in an effort to bring stability to his country amid a political and economic crisis that has engulfed the island nation. Wickremesinghe, 73, took his oath before President Gotabaya Rajapaksa at a ceremony in the president’s office on Thursday. “A cabinet is likely to be appointed tomorrow,” Sudewa Hettiarachchi, a spokesman for President Rajapaksa, told AFP.
The president’s brother, Mahinda Rajakapsa, resigned as prime minister on Monday following outrage over violent attacks by his supporters on peaceful protesters who have demanded the government step-down. His resignation automatically dissolved the Cabinet, leaving an administrative vacuum. The president’s selection of Wickremesinghe is seen as an attempt to end violence triggered by the economic crisis and restore international credibility as the government negotiates a bailout package with the International Monetary Fund.