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Mahinda Rajapaksa to quit as Sri Lanka’s prime minister

Former Sri Lankan president Mahinda Rajapaksa will step down from the post as prime minister tomorrow, in the latest twist to the island’s political crisis.

His son and parliamentarian Namal Rajapaksa tweeted the announcement, stating it was done “to ensure stability of the nation”.

Rajapaksa is expected to give an announcement tomorrow.

“The SLPP with Frm President, SLFP & others will now work to form a broader political coalition with President Sirisena,” Namal added.

"Unless the prime minister resigns, another prime minister cannot be appointed, said pro-Rajapaksa parliamentarian Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena. “But the country needs to face situations that it needs to face in January, a country cannot function without a budget."

Mahinda Rajapaksa notoriously oversaw the massive military offensive that killed tens of thousands of Tamils during his tenure as president, which ended in 2015. Colombo was plunged into a political crisis, after current president Maithripala Sirisena appointed him as prime minister in October, leaving much of the government paralysed.