Sri Lanka parliament votes against Rajapakse

Published November 14, 2018
Mahinda Rajapakse. — AFP/File
Mahinda Rajapakse. — AFP/File

Sri Lanka's parliament passed a motion of no-confidence in the controversially appointed government of Mahinda Rajapakse on Wednesday, 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.

Amid chaotic scenes, Rajapakse, 72, and his legislator son Namal walked out of the red-carpeted chamber just before the speaker called for a vote.

MPs loyal to Rajapakse attempted to grab the mace, the symbol of authority of the legislature, to disrupt the vote, but Jayasuriya went ahead.

“The ayes have it,” the Speaker announced over his public address system “I rule that this House does not have confidence in the government (of Rajapakse).”

Several Rajapakse ministers came out of parliament accusing the speaker of violating parliamentary norms by holding the crucial vote against their wishes.

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