Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena sacked the country’s Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe on Friday and replaced him with former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, according to local media reports.
The move came after Sirisena’s United People’s Freedom Alliance withdrew from the coalition government with Wickremesinghe’s United National Party.
Agriculture Minister Mahinda Amaraweera, also general secretary of the United People’s Freedom Alliance, said the decision to withdraw has been conveyed to the Parliament.
Last week, Sirisena accused the United National Party, the senior coalition partner, of not taking seriously an alleged plot to assassinate him and Defence Minister Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, the brother of Mahinda Rajapaksa.
Sirisena was chosen president largely through votes from Wickremesinghe’s party in 2015, ending a nearly decade-long rule by Rajapaksa, PTI reported. However, both allies suffered heavy defeats in the local elections in February, which were seen as a referendum on the ruling alliance. Later, Sirisena aides supported a no-confidence motion against Wickremesinghe, who survived after a majority of legislators voted to support his coalition government.