Former opposition leader and Sri Lanka Freedom Party stalwart from the South, 59-year-old Mahinda Rajapaksa took oaths as the new Prime Minister in President Chandrika Bandaranayake Kumaranatunge government at 11.26 on Tuesday morning.
Prime Minister Rajapaksa, the seventeenth Prime Minister to be appointed since independence in 1948, earned the highest preference votes in the Hambantota District, beating the representatives from the alliance partner JVP. rn
rnMost of the top JVP members were not present at the swearing in ceremony.rn
rnThe Presidents party won 105 seats in the 225 member Parliament at the April 02 polls. rn
rnHigh level discussions with minority parties continue to secure the 113 majority in Parliament for the PA-JVP Alliance.rn
rnRajapakse is expected to play a key role in wooing a majority to support the Alliances in Parliament.rn
rnAlready, Party sources say they have secured verbal confirmation from key minority parties, taking their tally in Parliament to the majority