Sri Lankan Parliament passes no-trust vote against Rajapaksa
Colombo: Sri Lanka’s Parliament on Wednesday passed a motion of no-confidence against new Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa and his controversially appointed government, a day after the Supreme Court stayed a presidential decree dissolving the legislature.
Speaker Karu Jayasuriya announced that a majority of the 225-member Assembly supported the motion against former President Rajapaksa who was made Prime Minister in October replacing Ranil Wickremesinghe, Colombo Telegraph reported.
The no-confidence motion on Rajapaksa and his government was presented by Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) legislator Anura Kumara Dissanayaka and seconded by JVP legislator Vijitha Herath.
Wickremesinghe’s United National Party (UNP), the JVP, the main opposition Tamil National Alliance, the Tamil Progressive Alliance, the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress and the All Ceylon Makkal Congress voted in favour of the no-trust motion.
Legislators from Rajapaksa’s party broke out in protest when the motion was moved, prompting him to leave the floor of the House. Amid the chaos, the Parliament was adjourned till Thursday.
Following the adjournment, legislators made contradictory claims of the results of the vote.
President Maithripala Sirisena-led United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) did not take part in the vote and vehemently protested the no confidence process.
According to the daily, 122 MPs signed the motion against Rajapaksa, claiming that Wickremesinghe was the legitimate Prime Minister of the country.
UNP legislator Lakshman Kiriella told journalists following the adjournment that the no-confidence vote had been passed with a majority and the new Prime Minister and government would cease to exist.
“We have the majority and the proper parliamentary procedures were followed. The new government is no more. Ranil Wickremesinghe will once again be the Prime Minister of the nation.”
However, Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) legislator Dinesh Gunawardena said the vote had not been passed as the Parliament Speaker had not followed normal parliamentary traditions by calling for an electronic vote.
Sri Lanka has been embroiled in political turmoil since October 26, when Sirisena surprisingly sacked Wickremesinghe.
Sirisena who was supposed to address the Parliament on Wednesday remained absent.