President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has named experienced political leader Ranil Wickremesinghe to succeed him as Prime Minister of the crisis-hit island nation. The President, who announced in a speech to the country yesterday that a Prime Minister and his cabinet would be installed this week, administered the oath of office to the 73-year-old.

Mr Wickremesinghe, the country’s largest opposition party, appeared to be the only alternative after the country’s main opposition party refused to join a government led by a member of the Rajapaksa clan.

The United National Party is led by Wickremesinghe. The party’s breakaway SJB section currently serves as the main opposition force.