Sri Lanka’s Parliament passed a motion of no-confidence in the controversially appointed government of Mahinda Rajapaksa today, a day after the Supreme Court overturned a presidential decree dissolving the legislature.
Sri Lankan lawmakers say they have passed a no-confidence motion against the country’s purported prime minister, Mahinda Rajapaksa, removing the PM and his cabinet from their posts and deepening an unprecedented constitutional crisis in the country.
But allies of Rajapaksa – controversially appointed by Sirisena last month after the president sacked the incumbent PM, Ranil Wickremesinghe – say they are refusing to recognise the legitimacy of Wednesday’s vote, extending the uncertainty that paralysed the government for the past fortnight.
Speaker Karu Jayasuriya ruled that a majority of the 225-member assembly supported a no-confidence motion against Mr. Rajapaksa who was made prime minister on October 26 in place of Ranil Wickremesinghe.
The motion was moved by United National Party (UNP) member Lakshman Kiriella.
Just before the vote was taken up, Rajapaksa walked out of the chamber, escorted by his son and MP Namal Rajapaksa, after which MPs backing him tried disrupting the vote
Karu Jayasuriya announced in the House: “According to the voice, I recognise that the government has no majority.” Jayasuriya announced as Rajapaksa backers protested.
Sri Lanka had been in a political crisis since 26 October, when Sirisena suddenly fired Ranil Wickremesinghe as the prime minister and replaced him with former strongman Rajapaksa.