Leader of the United National Party took his oaths as Prime Minister before President Maithripala Sirisena at the Presidential Secretariat Friday | (Pic by Sudat Silva)

United National Party (UNP) Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe was sworn in as Prime Minister before President Maithripala Sirisena at a ceremony held at the Presidential Secretariat on August 21 (Friday).

The 66-year-old lawmaker returns to office of Prime Minister for a fourth term as the 16th Prime Minister of Sri Lanka following his party’s win in the Parliamentary Elections, held on August 17. He contested from the Colombo District where he secured 500,566 votes recording the most number of votes obtained by a candidate in Sri Lankan election history.

Wickremesinghe, who held a number of ministerial portfolios since his entry into the parliament in 1977, was first appointed as prime minister following the assassination of President Ranasinghe Premadasa in 1993. He was elected Prime Minister in 2001 when the United National Front government won the parliamentary elections of 2001. Following the January 2015 presidential elections President Sirisena appointed Wickremesinghe as Prime Minister for the 100 day program. With his fourth term, Wickremesinghe joins late Dudley Senanayake who also held the office of Prime Minister on four occasions.

Former President and UPFA Kurunegala District MP Mahinda Rajapaksa also attended the ceremony.