Asia Pacific / Politics

Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa makes brother prime minister

AP

Sri Lanka’s new president has appointed a 15-member interim Cabinet including his brother as prime minister.

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, who was elected last week, also said Friday he would call a parliamentary election as early as allowed. The parliamentary term ends next August, and the constitution allows the president to dissolve Parliament in March and go for an election.

He is expected to secure a majority in the 225-member Parliament to run the administration.

Gotabaya Rajapaksa was defense minister when his brother Mahinda Rajapaksa was president and both enjoy support from majority Sinhala Buddhists for ending a devastating civil war.

The president sought his Cabinet’s support to implement the policy pledges that brought him to power and urged them to fulfill the aspirations of the public who wanted political change.