According to reports, Rajapaksa was being sworn in as the country’s Prime Minister in the presence of President Maithripala Sirisena and several other opposition leaders. The surprise political development surfaced in the wake of President Sirisena’s United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) declaration that it has called off the coalition with former Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe’s United National Party (UNP). This led to President Sirisena appointing Rajapaksa as the Prime Minister, replacing Wickremesinghe as the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka, which follows a semi-presidential mode of government. President Sirisena’s party put an end to the coalition after tensions surfaced between him and Wickremesinghe.
Sacked premier Ranil Wickremesinghe said, ‘The swearing in of former president Mahinda Rajapaksa as Sri Lanka’s new Prime Minister is “illegal and unconstitutional. I will continue to be the Prime Minister. Mahinda Rajapaksa’s appointment is unconstitutional’.