Published: Tue, December 04, 2018
Worldwide | By Jermaine Blake

Sri Lankan court bars Rajapaksa from acting as Prime Minister

Sri Lankan court bars Rajapaksa from acting as Prime Minister

The Court of Appeal has issued an interim order halting Mahinda Rajapaksa, his ministers, deputy ministers, and state ministers from continuing to function in their respective portfolios.

The decision by the Court of Appeal on Monday is the latest setback to Sirisena and Rajapakse, whose attempt to take power almost two years ahead of the next elections plunged Sri Lanka into crisis.

Sirisena came to power in 2015 on a pledge to uphold democracy and stamp out corruption, but his popularity has been hit by a crisis many say he triggered because of personal differences with former Prime Minister Wickremesinghe.

Wickremesinghe was quick to respond on Twitter.

Ousted prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said 29 October that his controversial sacking has left Sri Lanka in a power vacuum and demanded that parliament be allowed to end a standoff with the president.

President Maithripala Sirisena, who appointed Rajapakse, dismissed parliament last month but the Supreme Court intervened to restore it.

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Lawmakers opposing Rajapaksa had already voted on November 28 to freeze his office's spending - and the salaries of all ministers in his government - in a bid to crimp the new government's ability to implement policies.

Some 122 politicians who are opposed to Rajapaksa in the 225-member parliament challenged Rajapaksa and his ministers' right to hold office.

"The struggle to establish political stability in this country through the holding of a General Election needs the support of the people more than ever at this moment".

As of now, Ranil Wickremesinghe, who enjoys majority support in Parliament is the obvious choice for the Premiership.

Speculation are that President Sirisena may remove Mr. Rajapaksa on Wednesday when another motion would be taken up in Parliament and is defeated.

"There is a possibility of withdrawing the gazette", said a source in regular discussion with Sirisena, referring to the official announcement by which the president dissolved parliament.

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