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Sri Lanka's ex-strongman leaves the president's party

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka – Sri Lanka's former stronger and present Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa left his long-term political party and…

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka – Sri Lanka’s former stronger and present Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa left his long-term political party and joined another on Sunday, in a move that could weaken the country’s president.

Rajapaksa joined the Sri Lankan People’s Front, a party he was shadow leader for several months.

His movement may weaken President Maithripala Sirisens Sri Lanka Liberation Party, of whom Rajapaksa has been a long-term member. A large number of SLFP members are likely to join Rajapaksa because he has the greatest among them.

Sirisena last month summoned his prime minister, Ranil Wickremesinghe, and replaced him with Rajapaksa and hoped to earn money on Rajapaxa’s popular support. 19659006] Sirisena and Wickremesinghe, who led traditionally opposed parties, were part of an uncomfortable coalition government until Wickremesinghe sacking on October 26th.

Sirisena has dissolved the parliament and called for elections on January 5 in an attempt to ward off profound political crisis over his dismissal of the prime minister as opponents say is unconstitutional.

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