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Ranil Wickremesinghe takes oath as Sri Lanka PM

Sri Lanka’s veteran political leader Ranil Wickremesinghe has been appointed the next Prime Minister of the crisis-hit island nation by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa.

The 73-year-old was administered the oath of office by the President, who in an address to the nation yesterday, declared that a Prime Minister and his cabinet will be put in place this week.

With the country’s largest opposition party refusing to join a government headed by a member of the Rajapaksa clan, Mr Wickremesinghe — a four-time Prime Minister of the country — appeared the only option.

Mr Wickremesinghe heads the United National Party. The breakaway SJB faction of the party currently forms the principal opposition party.

Already struggling with the most devastating economic crisis since Independence, Sri Lanka was plunged into chaos on Monday as Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa stepped down from his post, nulling the elected government.