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Sri Lanka turmoil: Mahinda Rajapaksa calls for fresh polls

File photo: Mahinda Rajapaksa. Photograph:( Getty )

WION Web Team Colombo, Sri Lanka Dec 02, 2018, 09.18 PM (IST)

After twice failing to prove the majority in the parliament, President Maithripapala Sirisena's controversially appointed Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa on Sunday called for holding snap parliamentary polls in order to end the crisis in the island nation.

Sri Lanka has witnessed turmoil since Srisena sacked the prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and installed Rajapaksa in his place on October 26.

The island nation's president later dissolved Parliament and ordered a snap election. However, his decision was overturned by the country's apex court which also halted the preparations for snap polls.

With Wickremesinghe refusing to resign from his post, both him and Rajapaksa claim to be the prime ministers. 

Wickremesinghe says his dismissal is invalid because he still holds a majority in the 225-member Parliament. 

In a statement, Rajapaksa cites occasions in the history when Parliament had been dissolved to call parliamentary elections in Sri Lanka to avoid crisis and bring in political stability. 

"The only way to restore stability to a destabilised democracy will be through a general election. According to our Constitution, sovereignty is vested in the people and not in Parliament," the former strongman said.

Rajapaksa has, so far, failed to prove his majority in Parliament.

Story highlights

The island nation is witnessing a political crisis since President Maithripapala Sirisena's controversial move to sack prime minister Ranil Wickeremesinghe and install Rajapaksa in his place on October 26