Sri Lanka’s Parliament Speaker says Parliament to convene on Nov 7

Sri Lanka’s Parliament Speaker says Parliament to convene on Nov 7

Colombo, Nov 2 ( – Sri Lanka’s Speaker of Parliament, Karu Jayasuriya on Friday informed lawmakers that President Maithripala Sirisena was to convene Parliament next week as the political crisis in the island country enterred its second week.

Jayasuriya, in a meeting with political party legislators said President Sirisena had, in a telephone conversation informed him that Parliament would convene on Nov 7 and a gazette notification would be issued either Friday or Saturday.

Jayasuriya has been under mounting pressure from legislators, who have urged him to summon Parliament immediately after President Sirisena, last Saturday prorogued Parliament till Nov 16.

Parliamentarians, including ousted Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe have urged for an urgent Parliamentary session, to identify which party held the majority in the House.

Newly appointed Prime Minister, Mahinda Rajapakse, who was sworn in last Friday after the President hurriedly sacked Wickremesinghe, told journalists on Thursday that President Sirisena had informed him that Parliament would convene on Nov 5 in order to settle the political crisis.

A government official said that President Sirisena had also informed this decision to the new foreign envoys who presented their credentials to him on Thursday afternoon.

However, on Thursday evening, General Secretary of the United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA), ┬áSusil Premajayantha told journalists that no such announcement had been made by the President and Parliament would convene as announced on Nov 16. President Sirisena is the leader of the UPFA.

Premajayantha said that Parliament needed time to prepare to meet and there was not enough time to meet on Nov 5.

He further said reports claiming that Parliament would convene on Nov 5 were misleading.

There however has been no statement from President Sirisena or Prime Minister Rajapakse since then.

In the meeting with Speaker Jayasuriya, on Friday, lawmakers from the United National Party, which is led by the ousted Prime Minister Wickremesinghe, passed a motion with 118 signatures, out of 225 members, calling on the Speaker to convene Parliament immediately to solve the ongoing crisis.

A political crisis erupted in the island last Friday when President Sirisena, in a shocking move, dissolved cabinet and sacked Wickremesinghe and appointed former President Mahinda Rajapakse as the new Prime Minister.

Wickremesinghe and his party have maintained that the move was illegal as they still held a majority in the House.

Sirisena has formed a new cabinet since then with several ministers, state and deputy ministers already sworn in.

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