What Happened: Mahinda Rajapaksa resigned as Sri Lanka's prime minister on Dec. 15, seven weeks after he was appointed by the president in a move that sparked a political crisis, BBC reported.
Why It Matters: Rajapaksa's resignation paves the way for his dismissed predecessor, Ranil Wickremesinghe, to return as prime minister on Dec. 16 and could end a power struggle that threatened to create more instability in the South Asian island nation. The crisis has been closely watched by regional power India, as well as China, the United States and the European Union.
Background: President Maithripala Sirisena dismissed Wickremesinghe in October and replaced him with Rajapaksa, who failed to secure a majority in Parliament. Sirisena then dissolved Parliament and called new elections, but Sri Lanka's Supreme Court declared the move unconstitutional.