Rajapakse voted out in Sri Lanka Parliament
Colombo: Sri Lanka’s parliament passed a motion of no-confidence in the controversially appointed government of Mahinda Rajapakse on Wednesday, 14th November 2018, a day after the Supreme Court overturned a presidential decree dissolving the legislature.
Speaker Karu Jayasuriya ruled that a majority of the 225-member assembly supported a no-confidence motion against Rajapakse who was made prime minister on October 26 in place of Ranil Wickremesinghe.
The result does not automatically mean that Wickremesinghe, whose party is the biggest in parliament, has won the constitutional showdown. President Maithripala Sirisena retains the power to choose the next prime minister.
The Parliament convened for the first time since October 27, when President Sirisena suspended the legislature after firing Wickremesinghe and his cabinet in a power struggle in a development that plunged the island nation into crisis.
On Wednesday, the Supreme Court suspended a proclamation issued by Sirisena on Friday sacking the legislature and calling for elections on January 5. The court also ordered the Elections Commission to halt preparations for the January 5 vote.
Rajapaksa, who ruled Lanka for a nearly decade from 2005, was unexpectedly defeated by his deputy Sirisena in the presidential election held in January 2015 with the support from Wickremesinghe’s UNP.
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.