Sri Lankan Speaker Not To Recognise Rajapaksa As New Premier Unless He Wins Floor Test


New Delhi: Sri Lankan Speaker Karu Jayasuriya has said that he would not recognise Mahinda Rajapaksa as the new premier unless he wins a floor test. He slammed President Maithripala Sirisena’s “unconstitutional and undemocratic” actions to sack Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and suspend Parliament.

The tough statement from Jayasuriya came after Sirisena announced on Sunday that parliament would reconvene on November 14, a week later than he had promised.

The Speaker said Sirisena had gone back on previous commitments to recall parliament on November 7.

In the statement released on Monday, Jayasuriya said 116 Members of Parliament have submitted a petition to him stating that the changes made in Parliament recently by President Sirisena are “unconstitutional and undemocratic.” Their call for Parliament to be summoned immediately was also “extremely reasonable”, he said.

“In the name of justice and fair play I have to declare my position to the world that when a majority has pointed out that rights of the MPs have been usurped by preventing the lawful convening of Parliament,” Jayasuriya said.

“A majority in parliament has requested that all changes made have been unconstitutional and against the traditions. They have urged me to recognise the status quo which prevailed prior to these changes. “As such I have to recognise the status quo which prevailed before until the new party would be able to prove their majority,” Jayasuriya said, making it clear that he wants a parliamentary floor test.

As a result, Rajapaksa will not be given the Prime Minister seat in Parliament as the current government members will need to sit in the opposition seats, reports said.

Sirisena suspended parliamentary proceedings until November 16 after abruptly firing Prime Minister Wickremesinghe and replacing him with Rajapaksa, a controversial former president, on October 26.

The Speaker had expected parliament to reconvene on November 7. However, Sirisena Sunday issued notice to reconvene Parliament on November 14.

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