Ousted Lankan PM says US, Japan have frozen aid after political crisis
06 November, 2018, 03:25 | Author: Sue Mclaughlin
Wickremesinghe, who has challenged his dismissal and vowed to remain prime minister until parliament voted him out, said there were global concerns about a government led by Rajapaksa.
But parliament's speaker Karu Jayasuriya warned Monday the president's actions were illegal and he would not recognise Rajapaksa as prime minister.
Rajapaksa was sworn in as prime minister a week ago after President Maithripala Sirisena dismissed Wickremesinghe and suspended parliament until November 16. Sign-up now and enjoy one (1) week free access! The alliance had "decided to vote in favour of the no-confidence motion against Rajapaksa", the statement added.
Seven members from Wickremesinghe's United National Front have defected to Rajapaksa's government.
On Sunday, Sirisena ordered parliament to reconvene in 10 days to resolve the protracted political crisis, drawing sharp criticism from Wickremesinghe's party which decried it as "too late".
Sirisena suspended parliament after he appointed Rajapaksa, raising concern among political parties at home and among Sri Lanka's traditional allies such as India, the United States and European Union.
Busloads of men and women from around the country descended on the capital as Rajapaksa thanked President Maithriapala Sirisena for sacking Ranil Wickremesinghe and appointing him in his place.
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Sunday's announcement by Sirisena came as the country's main Tamil party urged him to end the worsening political crisis. A police informant has said Wickremesinghe and a Cabinet member, former army commander Sarath Fonseka, were behind it. Police have made no arrests.
Amidst the thundering applause of the massive crowds, the President also said that the new government headed by him without any doubt would have a majority of 113 in Parliament. He argued that he can not be legally removed from office until he loses the support from Parliament, and asked for a vote as evidence to prove he had majority support.
Sirisena's moves have triggered a power struggle that some observers have called a constitutional crisis.
As a result, Rajapaksa will not be given the Prime Minister seat in Parliament as the current government members will need to sit in the opposition seats, reports said. Palitha Range Bandara, a United National Party lawmaker, has said that he was offered millions of dollars and a minister portfolio if he crossed over.
However, on Thursday evening, General Secretary of the United People's Freedom Alliance (UPFA) Susil Premajayantha told journalists that no such announcement had been made by the president and parliament would convene as announced on November 16.
Kehaliya Rambukwella, a spokesman for the new government, said it would renegotiate the 99-year lease for the port, which Rajapaksa's supporters deride as an outright sale.
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