Rajapaksa resigns as Sri Lanka's PM, Wickremesinghe likely to take oath Sunday

PTI Colombo, Sri Lanka Dec 15, 2018, 11.59 AM(IST)

File photo of Mahinda Rajapaksa (L), ranil wickremesinghe (R). Photograph:( AFP )

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Rajapaksa was appointed as the premier on October 26 by President Maithripala Sirisena after sacking Ranil Wickremesinghe, plunging the nation into a constitutional crisis.

Ranil Wickremesinghe is all set take oath as Sri Lanka's Prime Minister on Sunday after Premier Mahinda Rajapaksa resigned on Saturday, flagging a conclusion to the about two-month control tussle in the island country.

On Friday, Rajapaksa's son announced that his father would step aside from the post, shortly after the Supreme Court refused to stay a court order restraining the embattled former strongman from holding the office until it fully heard the case next month.

President Maithripala Sirisena has reportedly agreed to reinstate ousted Prime Minister Wickremesinghe in the post after a discussion with him over the phone on Friday, Colombo Page reported.

Wickremesinghe's United National Party (UNP) said that it was decided during the discussion that he will take oath as the Prime Minister at 10 am on Sunday.

Rajapaksa was appointed as the premier on October 26 by President Maithripala Sirisena after sacking Ranil Wickremesinghe, plunging the nation into a constitutional crisis.

"To ensure the stability of the nation, Former President @PresRajapaksa has decided to resign from the Premiership tomorrow after an address to the nation," Rajapaksa's son Namal tweeted.

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"The Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) with former president, Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) and others will "now work to form a broader political coalition with President Sirisena", Namal, who is also a lawmaker, added.

The apex court's latest ruling came a day after it unanimously declared that the dissolution of Parliament by President Maithripala Sirisena was "illegal", in a body blow to the embattled leader, whose controversial decisions plunged the island nation into an unprecedented political turmoil.

The Supreme Court decided that a Court of Appeal order issued against the appointment of Rajapaksa as Prime Minister and against his Cabinet from holding office will stand.

The appeal filed by Rajapaksa will be taken up for hearing on January 16, 17 and 18.