After SC quashed govt dissolution, no-confidence motion passed against Sri Lankan PM

Colombo: After the political dispute over power in Sri Lanka, the island nation’s Parliament on Wednesday passed a no-confidence motion against the controversially-appointed government headed by Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa.

Parliament’s speaker Karu Jayasuriya announced that a majority of the 225-member assembly supported the no-confidence motion against PM Rajapaksa – who was appointed by President Sirisena on October 26 in place of Ranil Wickremesinghe.

“According to the voice, I recognise that the government has no majority,” Jayasuriya announced in the House as Rajapaksa supporters protested.

Earlier, Karu Jayasuriya had called a meeting of political party leaders on Wednesday ahead of a formal meeting of legislators – where the voting between Wickremesinghe and Rajapakse was scheduled to happen.

Supreme Court’s intervention

The no-confidence move comes a day after the country’s top court overturned Sirisena’s decision on Tuesday to dissolve the parliament, in a major boost to sacked prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe’s fight for reclamation of the PM post from his arch-rival.

The heavily guarded court also halted preparations for a snap election, which was scheduled to be held on January 5, 2019. This came as a twist in a power struggle that began when Sirisena dismissed Wickremesinghe on October 26 and replaced him with former strongman president Mahinda Rajapaksa.

The top court said it would give a final verdict on the petition on December 7. It stated that, in the meantime, three more hearings would be conducted in the case.

Amid mounting international concern, Wickremesinghe had refused to accept his sacking while Rajapakse had sought to build a parallel administration.

( With Agency Inputs )