Thursday, 13 December, 2018


Sri Lanka’s ousted prime minister likens president to Hitler

In a statement Sri Lanka's newly appointed prime minister Mahinda Rajapaksa said he did not accept the appeal court's ruling and would take the matter to the Supreme Court Sri Lankan court bars Rajapaksa from acting as Prime Minister
Bennie Garza | 05 December, 2018, 18:32

Their power struggle culminated in Mr. Sirisena's dramatic move on October 26, appointing former President Mahinda Rajapaksa as Premier, in place of incumbent Mr. Wickremesinghe.

"The damage that will be posed by temporarily restraining a lawful cabinet of ministers from functioning would be ... outweighed by the damage that would be caused by allowing a set of persons who are not entitled in law to function as the prime minister or the cabinet of ministers", judge Preethipadhman Surasena said.

The political crisis has crippled the government for more than a month.

Rajapaksa was appointed prime minister in October by President Maithripala Sirisena to replace Ranil Wickremesinghe, but he was rejected by legislators.

Rajapakse urged his supporters on Monday night to remain calm and join his struggle to press for a general election almost two years ahead of schedule.

However, Wickremesinghe's UNP claims that Sirisena will be left with no choice as he would be the man who will command the confidence in the House. In the votes, 103 legislators voted in favor of Rajapaksa.

"We do not agree with the decision given by the Appeals Court as Constitutional matters are finally decided by the Supreme Court", Rajapaksa said on Twitter.

The Sri Lankan president has said that due to sharp personal differences with Wickremesinghe he would not reappoint him as the Prime Minister.

The two rivals had been neck and neck trying to cobble together enough backing, negotiating with key legislators and trying to lure defectors. Rajapaksa loyalists boycotted the vote saying it was illegal.

The latest court ruling is yet another setback for Rajapakse, who ruled with an iron fist for a decade before being defeated by none other than Sirisena in a 2015 election. The Supreme Court overturned Sirisena's decision to dissolve Parliament and halted the preparations for snap polls.

The court intervened and restored parliament in November when Sirisena - seeking to stave off a challenge to his new appointee - suspended the legislature.

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