Sri Lanka's new president may struggle to form government

| | Colombo
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Sri Lanka's new president may struggle to form government

Wednesday, 20 November 2019 | AP | Colombo

Sri Lanka's new president may struggle to form government

Sri Lanka's newly elected president, Gotabaya Rajapaksa, may struggle to consolidate his victory.

With many executive powers clipped and the opposition in control of a powerful Parliament, it's unclear when and how Rajapaksa will be able to form a government.

Rajapaksa is credited with helping end the country's long civil war and is revered as a hero by the Sinhalese Buddhist majority. He comfortably won Saturday's presidential election with about 52% of the ballots. But minorities largely voted for his opponent, fearing Rajapaksa because of allegations of wartime human rights violations against him.

Rajapaksa said at his swearing-in on Monday that he would form his own government. But that depends on whether Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe steps aside.

A 2015 constitutional amendment curtails the powers of the presidency.

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