President Sirisena rejects Lankan Parliament's no-confidence motion against Rajapaksa

File photo of Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena. Photograph:( Reuters )

WION Web Team Colombo, Sri Lanka Nov 15, 2018, 08.16 AM (IST)

A day after the Sri Lankan Parliament passed a no-confidence  motion against prime minister Rajapaksa, President Sirisena said the Parliament "tried to override the Constitutional powers of the president and the judiciary."

The Lankan president said Speaker Karu Jayasuirya ignored and violated the Constitutional provisions, standing orders and the Parliamentary traditions by passing the no-confidence motion.

Sirisena added that Rajapaksa was appointed as per the provisions a president is given under the Constitution, asserting that it was not necessary for the prime minister to show a majority in the Parliament according to Parliamentary traditions.

The Parliament had on Wednesday met for the first time since October 26, when President Sirisena sacked Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and suspended the Parliament plunging the island nation into a crisis.

The president said he had appointed Rajapaksa as the leader of the UNP who had 41 seats in Parliament. He rejected the Speakers decision on the outcome of the no-confidence motion.

The Speaker had calculated the votes based on the voices he heard as Rajapaksa supporters disrupted the proceedings in the House. The Supreme Court had on Tuesday overturned President Sirisena's decision to dissolve Parliament and halted the preparations for snap polls on January 5.

After the court verdict, Speaker Jayasuriya had summoned Parliament's session for Wednesday morning. Wickremesinghe maintained that his sacking by Sirisena was unconstitutional and illegal and he was still the prime minister.

The Lankan president alleged that the Speaker had obtained signatures some time back and the date of the motion of no-confidence was changed on Wednesday to make it look like a new document.

"President has the full power to appoint the prime minister," Sirisena insisted.

The Lankan Parliament will meet again today after the Speaker adjourned the House on Wednesday.

Story highlights

The Supreme Court had on Tuesday overturned President Sirisena's decision to dissolve Parliament