Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena on Thursday lifted the suspension of Parliament amid the ongoing political crisis in the country and summoned it on November 5, AP reported. The president convened a meeting of the legislature on Monday to end the political stalemate in the country, PTI quoted unidentified officials as saying.
On October 26, Sirisena appointed Mahinda Rajapaksa the prime minister after sacking Ranil Wickremesinghe from the post. A day later he suspended Parliament till November 16. Two days later, Rajapaksa assumed charge at the prime minister’s secretariat and called for snap parliamentary elections to overcome the “economic and political crisis”.
Sirisena met Parliament Speaker Karu Jayasuriya on Wednesday to discuss the matter. The president later indicated that he may call Parliament session soon. Jayasuriya, who had earlier questioned the sacking of Wickremesinghe, said he will not object to Rajapaksa taking the prime minister’s seat in the next parliamentary session, local news portal Ada Derena reported.
Rajapaksa and Sirisena’s parties together have only 95 seats, short of majority in the 225-member house. Wickremsinghe’s party has 106 seats on its own, but is also seven short of the majority.
Earlier this week, thousands of protestors took to the streets against Wickremesinghe’s removal and urged the president to “protect democracy”.
Have people’s support, says Wickremesinghe
Earlier in the day, Wickremesinghe claimed he still has the Parliament’s support and was confident of proving his majority, according to BBC.
“I still remain the prime minister and I have the confidence of the majority of members of this house,” Wickremesinghe said. “The constitution states that the president must appoint as prime minister the person who commands the confidence of parliament and I am the person who has that. We have asked for the summoning of parliament so I can prove my majority in the house.” He spoke to BBC before Sirisena decided to lift the suspension of Parliament.