High political drama in Sri Lanka: Mahinda Rajapaksa becomes new PM

High political drama in Sri Lanka: Mahinda Rajapaksa becomes new PM

High political drama in Sri Lanka: Mahinda Rajapaksa becomes new PM

The President in his letter said that Ranil Wickremesinghe was removed as per provisions in the constitution under 42 (4) and the President also told that it was him who appointed Wickremesinghe.

The parliament had been due to meet again on November 5 to unveil the 2019 annual budget. In a tweet shortly after the swearing in, Sri Lanka's Minister of Finance and Media Mangala Samaraweera called the move "unconstiutional & illegal" alleging it was an "undemocratic coup".

Following months of infighting, President Sirisena administered the oath of office to Rajapaksa after sacking premier Ranil Wickremesinghe, who was away touring the south of the country.

The ruling coalition had been further strained in recent days by strong criticism from Sirisena and his allies that ministers from Wickremesinghe's party did not act properly in investigating an alleged assassination plot to kill the president and former defence secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa, the new prime minister's younger brother.

Rajapakse loyalists stormed two state-owned television networks overnight - which they regard as loyal to the outgoing government - and forced them off the air.

Imran Khan leaves for Saudi conference saying Pakistan 'desperate' for loans
Khan added, "Now what we are hoping is that we wait until the elections then again we will resume our peace talks with India". He said that Pakistan is now talking to other countries and told the people to expect more good news in the future.

The sudden political development ends an over three-year-old coalition government that was formed by Sirisena and Wickremesinghe on a promise to combat corruption and financial irregularities. He said the crisis could be resolved with no difficulty if the parliament was convened. "I will remain as the prime minister", he said.

Parliamentary Speaker Karu Jayasuriya has said he will decide on Saturday whether to recognise Rajapakse or not, after seeking legal advice.

While the power of dismissal could be assumed as inherent to the power of appointment in the constitution prior to 2015, the Nineteenth Amendment has changed this by now providing expressly for the specific ways in which the prime minister can be removed (under the previously noted Articles 46 (2) and 48).

Wickremesinghe had survived a no-confidence motion in Parliament in April which was brought by supporters of Rajapaksa, the country's former strongman president.

In a surprising political development, the coalition party of the Sri Lankan government, United People's Freedom Alliance (UPFA) has made a decision to leave the National Government formed with the United National Party (UNP), UPFA General Secretary Minister Mahinda Amaraweera announced. Sri Lanka almost faced economic sanctions from the West over Rajapakse's brutal military crackdown on the banned Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam. Rajapaksa and his family are facing several cases of corruption and financial irregularities.

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