Sri Lanka's political crisis continues as Rajapakse's gov't boycotts parliament again

Source: Xinhua| 2018-11-27 19:39:14|Editor: xuxin
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COLOMBO, Nov. 27 (Xinhua) -- Sri Lanka's political crisis entered its second month Tuesday with legislators loyal to former President Mahinda Rajapaksa boycotting parliamentary sessions for the second time, against Speaker Karu Jayasuriya's decision to not recognize them as the legitimate government.

Several MPs including Rajapakse, who was appointed as the prime minister by President Maithripala Sirisena on Oct. 26, after Sirisena surprisingly sacked his former Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, said they would boycott sessions till such time the speaker recognizes them as the ruling party.

Speaker Jayasuriya, during a parliamentary session last week said there was no prime minister or government anymore as Rajapakse and his government had been defeated in a no-confidence vote.

"We have clearly said that the speaker does not have the powers to oppose the decisions of the president and neither does he have the power to select a prime minister. We will not recognize the speaker as the legitimate speaker anymore," Wimal Weerawansa, Leader of the National Freedom Front, a party loyal to Rajapakse, told journalists from the parliamentary premises.

He further said Rajapakse's government would continue to call for a parliamentary election in order to resolve the ongoing political crisis.

Legislators from ousted Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe's party, the United National Party (UNP), informed the speaker that the purported government had failed to show a majority after it was defeated in two no-confidence motions in parliament.

UNP MP Eran Wickramaratne requested the speaker to inform President Maithripala Sirisena to appoint a new prime minister and government from the party which had sown its majority in parliament, in order to end the political instability.

Sri Lanka has been embroiled in a severe political crisis after President Sirisena sacked Wickremesinghe and appointed former President Mahinda Rajapakse as the new prime minister last month.

The UNP has alleged that the removal of Wickremesinghe was "unconstitutional" and said the new caretaker government could not continue in office as they had been defeated in the no-confidence motions in parliament.

Sirisena has however rejected the results of the no-confidence votes saying it had not been conducted in a "constitutional manner" by Speaker Karu Jayasuriya and requested parliament to conduct the vote again.

Sirisena has maintained that the present crisis is not serious and will not affect the daily lives of citizens and assured the political unrest would be settled soon.