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Srilankan Court Prevents Mahindra Rajapaksa to Act as the Prime Minister

Srilankan Court Prevents Mahindra Rajapaksa to Act as the Prime Minister

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  3 Dec 2018 12:05 PM GMT

Guwahati: Controversially installed Srilankan Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa and his purported Cabinet of Ministers were restrained for functioning in their respective offices by Sri Lanka’s Court of Appeal on Monday. The decision came as a major set back to President Maithripala Sirisena who had installed his former rival in place of Ranil Wickremesinghe in a controversial decision.

The interim order came following a Quo Warranto petition filed by 122 MPs on November 23, challenging Mr. Rajapaksa’s continuance in the office of the Prime Minister, after losing two trust votes in Parliament on November 14 and 16.

The court has asked the former President and his ministers to explain on December 12, on whose authority they continued acting in office despite the legislature voting them out twice.

Mr. Rajapaksa and President Maithripala Sirisena — who appointed him in place of incumbent Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe in a widely criticised snap move — are yet to recognise the outcome of the votes in Parliament, citing “breach of procedure.” While manoeuvres in the legislature have so far proved inadequate to get Mr. Rajapaksa’s contested government to step down, Monday’s appeal court order delivered a legal blow to the legitimacy they claimed so far.

All eyes are now on President Sirisena, who is scheduled to chair two crucial meetings on Monday evening with the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) and relevant officials on the possible release of political prisoners, and with the United National Front led by Mr. Wickremesinghe’s UNP who showed a strength of 117 members in the House last week, with the critical support of 14 TNA lawmakers.

It may be mentioned that the Island country is witnessing a political crisis since October 26 when President Sirisena sacked Wickeremesinghe and replaced him with Rajapaksa.

Sirisena later dissolved theParliament, almost 20 months before its term was to end, and ordered snap elections. However, the Supreme Court dismissed Sirisena’s decision to dissolve Parliament leading to a halt in the preparations for the polls.

Both Wickremesinghe and Rajapaksa claim to be the prime ministers. Wickremesinghe says his dismissal is invalid because he still holds a majority in the 225-member Parliament.

Also Read: International News

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