Sri Lanka’s ousted PM says snap General Election possible only after consent from all parties

Sri Lanka’s ousted PM says snap General Election possible only after consent from all parties

Colombo, Dec 4 ( – Sri Lanka’s ousted Prime Minister, Ranil Wickremesinghe, on Tuesday said that his political alliance would agree to hold a Parliamentary Election only after a legitimate government is established and all political parties in Parliament agree.

Speaking to reporters from capital Colombo, Wickremesinghe said that he and his alliance, the United National Front, were not afraid to go in for a parliamentary election to solve the ongoing political instability, but an election could only be held according to the constitution.

“First there must a lawful government in place,” Wickremesinghe said.

“So we have informed the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna to speak to all the parties and decide on a date. When we reach a consensus, we can go ahead,” he added.

Responding to President Maithripala Sirisena’s announcement that he would never appoint Wickremesinghe as the Prime Minister again, Wickremesinghe said the President could not decide on that matter as it was the Parliament majority that decided on who should be the Prime Minister and it was the Prime Minister who determined the ministers.

“According to the Sri Lankan constitution we are all controlled by Parliament,” he said.

Sri Lanka has been facing a severe political crisis since Oct 26, when President Sirisena sacked Wickremesinghe and appointed former president Mahinda Rajapaksa to the post of Prime Minister and appointed a new caretaker government..

Sirisena has alleged that he could not work with Wickremesinghe due to his weak economic policies and the rising corruption in the UNF government.

The UNF however have alleged that Wickremesinghe’s sudden dismissal as Prime Minister was unconstitutional as he controlled majority in Parliament.

Rajapakse and his new caretaker government have already been defeated in two no confidence motions in Parliament since then, the results which have been rejected b Rajapaksa and President Sirisena who have alleged that the vote was taken in an illegal manner.

Further, a Court of Appeal on Tuesday, temporarily halted Rajapaksa and his government from holding public office till Dec 12, when they have been summoned to appear in court to explain under what authority they continued to hold office.

The Appeal Court issued the order after 122 legislators filed a petition on Nov 23 challenging Rajapaksa and his government from holding office, claiming they were already defeated in the two no confidence motions.

Rajapaksa, his party, the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna and the United People’s Freedom Alliance, on Tuesday filed an appeal against the order in the Supreme Court.

Rajapaksa, in a statement earlier Tuesday said that political stability could only be established in Sri Lanka through the holding of a snap Parliamentary Election.

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