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Sri Lanka's new president names brother Mahinda as PM
[COLOMBO] Sri Lanka's new President Gotabaya Rajapaksa will swear in his elder brother Mahinda - a former president himself - as prime minister, a spokesman told AFP Wednesday.
The move follows the resignation of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe on Wednesday, four days after his party suffered a humiliating defeat at the presidential polls.
In an address to the nation, Mr Wickremesinghe said he had informed new president Gotabaya Rajapaksa that he will step down Thursday, allowing a new minority government to be formed.
The Rajapaksa brothers are credited with brutally crushing the Tamil Tigers a decade ago to end Sri Lanka's civil war, with the security services they controlled accused of war crimes and multiple human rights abuses.
Government spokesman Vijayananda Herath said Mahinda Rajapaksa will assume duties as premier soon after incumbent Mr Wickremesinghe steps down on Thursday morning.