Sri Lanka's sacked leader Ranil Wickremesinghe wins certainty vote

Sri Lanka: president's dissolution of parliament illegal, top court rules

As many as 13 petitions have been filed against Sirisena's November 9 order sacking the 225-member Parliament, nearly 20 months before its term was to end.The Supreme Court on November 13 had issued an interim order ruling Sirisena's gazette notification as temporarily illegal and halted the preparations for snap polls.

Sri Lanka has been embroiled in a political turmoil since President Sirisena surprisingly sacked Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and appointed former president Rajapaksa as the prime minister as well as a new government in late October.

Sirisena, after sacking Wickremesinghe, dissolved Parliament and called for a snap election on January 5.

Submissions to the Supreme Court by the petitioners representing the United National Party (UNP) led United National Front (UNF), the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) and the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) and the intervenient petitioners representing President Sirisena as well as the interests of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) and the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) continued until the end of last week.

Though Rajapaksa has been a popular leader credited for ending Sri Lanka's 26-year long civil war, he has also been accused of human rights abuses and corruption.

A seven judge bench headed by Chief Justice Nalin Perera, delivered the verdict saying the President's decision was unconstitutional with Chief Justice Perera further explaining that if the President wants to dissolve Parliament before four and a half years, there must be a resolution passed in Parliament with a two thirds majority. Hakeem, who is the leader of the Muslim Congress, has a good number of legislators from his party in the Parliament.

Ranil Wickremesinghe got 117 votes in support in the 225-part administrative body.

United National Party (UNP) leader Wickremesinghe last week urged the President not to "be like Hitler and some of the other dictators who used the referendum".




Two key court orders on the legality of Sirisena's action await delivery.

It was not immediately clear what supporters of Rajapaksa, who have previously caused chaos in parliament as they defended the former strongman, would do following the court's decision. He also insisted that Sirisena should gracefully accept his mistake and resign from his post since he had broken the trust of the 6.2 million voters of Sri Lanka.

The Supreme Court is expected to issue a decision this week on whether it was legal for Sirisena to dissolve parliament.

The Supreme Court on November 13 had issued an interim order ruling Sirisena's gazette notification as temporarily illegal and halted the preparations for snap polls.

Mr. Sirisena's refusal to work with Mr. Wickremesinghe is at the heart of the political crisis gripping Sri Lanka for seven weeks now.

"Unless the prime minister resigns, another prime minister can not be appointed".

In any case, Rajapaksa proceeded in office with Sirisena's sponsorship. On Wednesday, attorneys showed up for Rajapaksa and the stayed priests in court, which set the consultation for January likewise broadening the stay arrange.

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