Brothers Gotabaya and Mahinda Rajapaksa Friday with their party convincingly won the parliamentary elections of Sri Lanka. The country's prime minister and president acquired a two-thirds majority, making it easy to override the opposition if the duo wants to expand their power through constitutional changes.
President Gotabaya (71), in particular, would prey on such a constitutional amendment. The younger brother has complained several times about the restrictions he faces since taking office last year. He would like to give himself more power and remove the restriction on the amount of terms he can stay.
According to experts, the proposal could lead to tension between Gotabaya and his older brother Mahinda (74), who was president for ten years and is now entering his second term as prime minister. The older brother threatens to lose part of his powers in the event of a conflict.
The opposition can offer little resistance to a possible constitutional change. The party of the brothers Rajapaksa, Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP), won 150 of the 225 available seats. More than 75 percent of Sri Lankans cast their votes, more than was initially expected.
Brothers immensely popular thanks to tackling the corona crisis and recovery from attacks
The brothers owe their popularity in part to how they averted the large-scale corona crisis in Sri Lanka. In addition, their approach after the terrorist attacks on various hotels and churches on Easter Sunday last year has certainly not done any harm.
President Gotabaya promised to restore security to the country after the attacks killed 269 people.
The parliamentary elections were originally scheduled for April, but were postponed twice by the COVID-19 pandemic. Presumably, Namal Rajapaksa, Mahinda's son, and three other members of the influential family perform other important functions in government.