In a blow to Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena and former strongman Mahinda Rajapakse, who was installed as the prime minister after the former ousted incumbent Ranil Wickremesinghe on October 26, Wickremesinghe was reinstated as the prime minister on Sunday, according to news agency AFP. He proved his majority in Parliament Wednesday, with 117 out of 225 lawmakers voting to pass a confidence motion in his leadership. Rajapaksa, on the other hand, has so far failed to prove his majority in Parliament. Sirisena, after sacking Wickremesinghe, dissolved Parliament and called for a snap election on January 5. However, the Supreme Court overturned his decision.
The sacking of Wickremesinghe on October 26 plunged the country into an unprecedented constitutional crisis. Mahinda Rajapaksa, who was appointed as Prime Minister by President Maithripala Sirisena in a controversial move, resigned Saturday after two crucial Supreme Court decisions made the embattled former strongman’s efforts to cling to premiership untenable.
Read More | Nations agree rulebook for Paris climate treaty
“Rajapaksa informed the lawmakers of United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) that he has resigned from the post,” Pro-Rajapaksa lawmaker Shehan Semasinghe had said.
The Supreme Court on Thursday unanimously declared that the dissolution of Parliament by Sirisena was “illegal”. The apex court on Friday refused to stay a court order restraining Rajapaksa, 73, from holding the office of Prime Minister until it fully heard the case next month.
Wickremesinghe’s United National Party (UNP) on Saturday said that Sirisena has agreed to reinstate him in the post after a discussion with him over the phone on Friday.