Sri Lanka parliament Speaker refuses to recognise Rajapaksa as PM

Sri Lanka's deposed Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said his abrupt dismissal raised doubts about the future of democracy in the island

Sri Lanka's deposed Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said his abrupt dismissal raised doubts about the future of democracy in the island

"I have to agree with the majority of parliament who believe that the president's actions are undemocratic, unconstitutional and against all norms of parliamentary procedure", added Jayasuriya, who is originally from Wickremesinghe's United National Party but holds a neutral position in parliament. "I will have to accept the status quo prior to the changes" unless a majority in parliament approves them, he said. The current suspension of parliament by the president is seen as a key to Rajapaksa negotiating for enough defections.

Until that vote takes place, a majority of parliamentarians have said they believe the current situation, in which Rajapaksa is acting as prime minister, is illegal, the speaker said.

However, Sri Lanka's Parliament Speaker Karu Jayasuriya on Friday informed lawmakers that President Maithripala Sirisena was likely to convene Parliament on November 7. However, Sirisena Sunday issued notice to reconvene Parliament on November 14.

President Sirisena said he appointed a new person who is state friendly and who has a clear vision for the country and one who would not bow down to foreign agendas. Jayasuriya, however, refused to do so saying he was powerless unless the president consented.

The move on Oct 26 triggered an unprecedented constitutional crisis, plunging the island into political turmoil. They have delayed the date for reconvening parliament so that they could buy over MPs.

He said he hadn't received any money yet.

Wickremsinghe's United National Party (UNP) on Monday said Sirisena's decision to summon parliament on November 14 will not lead to the resolving of the constitutional crisis.

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Parliament road from Borella was a sea of heads as the crowds kept streaming into the Parliament Roundabout where the rally under the theme "Ratama Rakina Jana Mahimaya" presided over by the President and the Prime Minister was held.

The UNP has handed over a motion of no trust against Rajapaksa.

The alliance had "decided to vote in favour of the no-confidence motion against Rajapaksa", the statement said.

Both men have been marshalling numbers behind the scenes, worrying civil society groups who protested Sunday in the capital Colombo against the horse-trading.

Supporters of Mr. Rajapaksa at the rally chanted "Whose power is this?"

UNP supporters also condemned Sirisena's decision to recall parliament two days prior to the initial suspension order against Wickremesinghe, describing the move to be "eyewash to appease the ever-increasing worldwide and local pressure".

After sacking Wickremesinghe, Sirisena announced that he made the replacement in part because Wickremesinghe and a Cabinet colleague were behind an alleged assassination plot against him.

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