Mahinda Rajapaksa sworn in as Srilankan Prime Minister

Mahinda Rajapaksa sworn in as Srilankan Prime Minister

Mahinda Rajapaksa on Thursday took oath as the Sri Lanka's new prime minister, days after his younger brother was elected president, cementing the powerful and controversial Rajapaksa clan's grip on political power in the island nation.

Mahinda, the 23rd prime minister, was administered the oath by his younger sibling and newly-elected President Gotabhaya Rajapaksa at the Presidential Secretariat.

The 74-year-old leader will function as the prime minister of the caretaker cabinet until the general election in August 2020.

Former prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, former president Maithripala Sirisena and a number of other political leaders were present on the occasion.

This is Mahinda's second innings as the prime minister. He was premier for a brief period in 2018 amidst a major political turmoil in the country.

Earlier in the day, Wickremesignhe formally tendered his resignation to President Gotabhaya.

He also vacated his official residence, Temple Trees, to make room for the new prime minister.