Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena appointed a 30-member cabinet, days after Ranil Wickremesinghe was reinstated as prime minister following a lengthy political crisis.

Sirisena administered oaths in a private event on Thursday. Mangala Samaraweera was reappointed as finance minister as parliament considers a temporary budget aimed at avoiding a government shut down from January 1.

Wickremesinghe’s reinstatement as prime minister earlier this week and the appointment of a new cabinet will result in Sri Lanka‘s government resuming functions that have been obstructed since October. 

But continued acrimony between Sirisena and Wickremesinghe means the crisis is far from over.

The crisis began when Sirisena sacked Wickremesinghe and appointed former strongman Mahinda Rajapaksa in his place.

Wickremesinghe insisted he was sacked illegally, while Rajapaksa failed to secure majority support in parliament.

Sirisena dissolved parliament and called for elections. The Supreme Court declared the actions illegal, forcing the president to reappoint Wickremesinghe.

Sri Lanka had been braced for a government shutdown as parliament failed to approve spending for 2019, and rating agencies downgraded the country’s credit rating amid fears of a sovereign debt default.

Sirisena came to power in 2015 on a pledge to uphold democracy and stamp out corruption. However, his popularity has been hit by the crisis triggered by Wickremesinghe’s sacking. 


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