International

Sri Lanka crisis: Rajapaksa to resign today, Wickremesinghe likely to take oath as PM

Colombo: Signalling an end to the nearly two-month power tussle in Sri Lanka, disputed Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa will resign on Saturday, his son said Friday, soon after the Supreme Court refused to stay a court order that restrained the embattled former strongman from acting as the premier until it fully heard the case next month.

Rajapaksa, 73, was appointed as the prime minister on October 26 by President Maithripala Sirisena in a controversial move after sacking Ranil Wickremesinghe which plunged the island nation into a constitutional crisis.

“To ensure stability of the nation, Former President @PresRajapaksa has decided to resign from the Premiership tomorrow after an address to the nation,” Rajapaksa’s son Namal tweeted.

The Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) with former president, Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) and others will “now work to form a broader political coalition with President Sirisena”, Namal Rajapaksa, a lawmaker, added.

Ranil Wickremesinghe is expected to take oath as Sri Lanka’s Prime Minister on Sunday.

President Maithripala Sirisena has reportedly agreed to reinstate ousted Prime Minister Wickremesinghe in the post after a discussion with him over the phone on Friday, Colombo Page reported.

Wickremesinghe’s United National Party (UNP) said that it was decided during the discussion that he will take oath as the Prime Minister at 10 am on Sunday.

The President removed Wickremesinghe from the post of Prime Minister, he had refused to accept the sacking and challenged it in a court and in the Parliament.

As per reports, a new Cabinet will be sworn in on Monday. The Cabinet will consist of 30 members and include six Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) parliamentarians, it said.

The apex court on Friday refused to stay a court order restraining Rajapaksa, 73, from holding the office of Prime Minister until it fully heard the case next month.

The Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) with former president, SLFP and others will “now work to form a broader political coalition with President Sirisena”, Namal, a lawmaker, added.

The apex court’s Friday ruling came a day after it unanimously declared that the dissolution of Parliament by President Sirisena was “illegal”.

IANS

Previous ArticleNext Article