Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena’s opponents won control of a key parliamentary Select Committee on Friday, , adaderana.lk reported. Last week, all political parties had agreed to form the committee and give it the power to handle parliamentary affairs till the current political crisis in the country is resolved.
The panel’s composition was approved by 121 legislators in the 235-seat Parliament. However, parliamentarians belonging to Sirisena’s United People’s Freedom Alliance party walked out after Speaker Karu Jayasuriya announced the result, protesting against the allocation of seats in the committee, PTI reported.
Jayasuriya had named five members from the United People’s Freedom Alliance, five from the United National Front of former Prime Minister Ranil Wickeremesinghe, and one each from the Tamil National Alliance and the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna.
Before polling began, Jayasuriya announced the proposed composition of the panel, saying it was necessary because an all-party meeting Sirisena called last week had yielded no agreement. However, Leader of the House Dinesh Gunawardena claimed that the ruling alliance should be allocated majority of the seats.
Last month, Sirisena ousted Wickremesinghe as prime minister and replaced him with former President Mahinda Rajapaksa. The president also suspended Parliament till November 16 to prevent a vote from being held. Though Sirisena later lifted the suspension and said the Parliament would reconvene on November 14, he dissolved it again and called snap elections.
On November 11, the Sri Lankan Supreme Court issued a stay order against the dissolution. Subsequently, Rajapaksa’s government lost two trust motions in Parliament.