Sri Lanka’s Parliament on Wednesday passed a no-confidence motion against Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa who was installed by President Maithripala Sirisena in a controversial move, a day after the Supreme Court overturned the presidential decree to dissolve Parliament and hold snap polls.
The Parliament on Wednesday met for the first time since October 26, when President Sirisena sacked prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, installed Rajapaksa in his place and suspended the Parliament plunging the island nation into a constitutional crisis.
Parliament Speaker Karu Jayasuriya announced that a majority of the 225-member assembly supported the no-confidence motion against Rajapaksa, the former strongman.
“According to the voice, I recognise that the government has no majority,” Jayasuriya announced in the House as Rajapaksa supporters protested.
Jayasuriya later adjourned the House until 10 am on Thursday.
Speaker Jayasuriya has officially written to President Sirisena asking him to take further constitutional action on the issue.
A copy of the motion with 122 signatures of Parliamentarians, who have expressed lack of confidence in Prime Minister Rajapaksa and his cabinet, has been sent to President Sirisena.
The Speaker’s office said that the Speaker has requested the President to take the next step under the Constitution.
“We will now take steps to ensure that the government in place before October 26 will continue. I wish to inform all government servants and police that you should not carry out illegal orders from the purported government that has failed to demonstrate the confidence of the people,” he said.
However, the power-sharing arrangement between Sirisena and Wickremesinghe became increasingly tenuous on several policy matters, especially on issues like the economy and security. And subsequently, Sirisena abruptly ousted Wickremesinghe and replaced him with Rajapaksa.