Gotabaya Rajapaksa (right) has named his brother Mahinda Rajapaksa (left) as prime minister [Ishara S Kodikara/AFP] [AFP]

Newly-elected Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has announced he will call a snap parliamentary election “at the earliest opportunity” as he seeks to turn the country’s parliamentary arithmetic in his favour after winning office last weekend.

Rajapaksa said on Friday he would “consult the people” as soon as possible under Sri Lanka’s constitution after appointing a new 16-member interim cabinet headed by his brother Mahinda, a former president who will now serve as prime minister and finance minister.

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Sri Lanka’s existing parliamentary term ends next August, and the constitution allows the president to dissolve the legislature in March and go for an election.

Rajapaksa will hope to ride

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