Sri Lanka Government Crisis - How Things Stand At Present, And Who Has The Numbers
Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa's return as Sri Lanka's newly appointed PM ends a more than three-year-old coalition government that was formed by President Sirisena and ousted Prime Minister Wickremesinghe on a promise to combat corruption and financial irregularities.
Though Maithripala Sirisena and Mahinda Rajapaksa were originally from the same party - Sri Lanka Freedom Party - Mr Sirisena, who used to be Mahinda Rajapaksa's minister of health, broke away from him to contest the presidential elections. He managed defeat Mahinda Rajapaksa within their political alliance - United People's Freedom Alliance, after loyalists of Mr Sirisena formed a coalition government with Mr Wickremesinghe's United National Party.
Mahinda Rajapaksa later formed his own political front, the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna.
Mr Sirisena then became President and went on to form a coalition with Ranil Wickremesinghe's party which had the larger mandate.
While Mr Wickremesingh's party still has the numbers in parliament, he has been ousted by President Sirisena, who brought back his former president as his new prime minister.
Political analysts say President Sirisena's move to install Mahinda Rajapaksa as the prime minister could lead to a constitutional crisis as the 19th amendment to the Constitution would not allow the sacking of Ranil Wickremesinghe as the prime minister either, without a majority in parliament.
Mr Rajapaksa and Mr Sirisena together have only 95 seats and is short of a simple majority. Mr Wickremesinghe's UNP has 106 seats on its own, which is just seven short of the majority mark.
The unity (coalition) government (between Sirisena and Wickremesinghe) was thrown into a crisis after Mr Rajapaksa's new party pulled off a stunning victory in local elections in February seen as a referendum on the ruling alliance.
Last week, it was reported that President Sirisena accused his senior coalition partner the UNP of not taking seriously an alleged conspiracy to assassinate him and Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, the former top defence ministry bureaucrat and brother of ex-president Mahinda Rajapaksa.
Sri Lanka nearly faced economic sanctions from the West over Mahinda Rajapakse's brutal military crackdown on the banned terror outfit Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).
The LTTE sought a separate Tamil homeland in the northern and eastern provinces of Sri Lanka for nearly 30 years before its collapse in 2009 after the Sri Lankan Army killed its chief Velupillai Prabhakaran.
Mahinda Rajapaksa and his family are facing several cases of corruption and financial irregularities.