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Sri Lanka president weighs backing down in crisis over parliament

Sri Lanka president weighs backing down in crisis over parliament”

The court issued its order on Monday after 122 members of Sri Lanka's parliament, who are allied with ousted prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, filed a legal action on November 23 challenging Rajapaksa's authority as prime minister.

Wickremesinghe said that all political parties agree to hold an election only if a legal government exists in the country and that even the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) have declared this.

A writ petition was filed by UNP leader Ranil Wickremasinghe and 121 other Parliamentarians seeking an order in the nature of Quo Warranto declaring that Mahinda Rajapaksa is not entitled to hold the office of PM.

The Court of Appeal temporary halted Rajapaksa and his Cabinet from functioning in their positions in response to a case filed by 122 legislators against the disputed government.

Following the vote, Mr. Sirisena would be forced to appoint a new prime minister and a Cabinet.

In a statement typed on his personal letter paper, Rajapaksa said: "We are not in agreement with the interim stay order issued by the Appeal Court suspending the functioning of the Cabinet of Ministers.We will be presenting an appeal to the Supreme Court tomorrow morning against this stay order".

Sri Lanka's toppled premier likened the president to Hitler on Tuesday as he demanded to be reinstated, nearly six weeks into a paralysing political crisis in the Indian Ocean nation.

President Maithripala Sirisena sacked Wickremesinghe and replaced him with Mahinda Rajapakse, the larger-than-life former president credited with ending Sri Lanka's bloody civil war with Tamil separatists in 2009. The president suspended parliament and later called for fresh general elections, a move that was stalled by Sri Lanka's Supreme Court.

As of now, Ranil Wickremesinghe, who enjoys majority support in Parliament is the obvious choice for the Premiership.

The lawmakers, who command 14 seats and hold the balance of power in the legislature, met Sirisena to discuss the release of more than 100 Tamil detainees held in custody for several years without trial.

Mr. Rajapaksa has, so far, failed to prove his majority in Parliament.



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