Allow Sri Lanka parliament to vote

05 November, 2018, 00:46 | Author: Carlos George
  • UN Secretary General asks Sri Lanka's President to allow Parliament vote ASAP

Newly appointed Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapakse, who was sworn in last Friday after the president sacked Wickremesinghe, told journalists on Thursday that President Sirisena had informed him that the parliament would convene on November 5 in order to settle the ongoing political crisis.

The Tamil National Alliance's announcement comes as divergent political parties in Parliament try to thwart Mahinda Rajapaksa from strengthening his position as prime minister. Sirisena replaced Prime Minister Wickremesinghe for Rajapaksa last Friday, and suspended the Parliament after Wickremesinghe sought an emergency session to prove his majority in the legislature.

President Maithripala Sirisena fired Ranil Wickremesinghe as prime minister and named Rajapaksa in a surprise move last week that has drawn criticism from political parties and the global community.

Guterres urged Sirisena to revert to parliamentary procedures and allow Parliament to vote as soon as possible, according to a readout of the phone call distributed to the press by Guterres' spokesman on Friday. But the president's office has not yet issued a formal statement.

Amid the ongoing political tension, Resident Coordinator of the United Nations in Sri Lanka Hanaa Singer has met Sirisena and Parliament Speaker Karu Jayasuriya, delivering Guterres' message for the need to respect democratic values and constitutional provisions.

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The TNA has already said it would vote against Rajapakse in a no-confidence motion when parliament reconvenes.

After sacking Wickremesinghe, Sirisena announced that he made the replacement in part because Wickremesinghe and a Cabinet colleague were behind an alleged assassination plot against him. During this meeting, the President apprised the United Nations representative regarding the prevailing political situation in Sri Lanka.

Wickremesinghe said in an interview with the AP that there is credible evidence that Rajapaksa's party is attempting to buy support in Parliament.

In remarks broadcast on state television, Rajapaksa told a meeting at his office that Sirisena chose to summon Parliament on November 5.

The president's move has plunged the country into a constitutional crisis with Wickremesinghe claiming he is still the prime minister.

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