An appeals court in Sri Lanka on Monday issued an interim order restraining Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa and his cabinet from functioning until the hearing of a writ petition filed against them holding office. The court issued a notice to Rajapaksa and his cabinet and said the hearing will begin on December 12, reported.

As many as 122 members of the Sri Lankan Parliament had filed the petition after two no-confidence motions were passed against Rajapaksa’s government last month. The legislators argued that the government had no parliamentary majority, and Speaker Karu Jayasuriya had confirmed this. On November 30, Rajapaksa’s advocates had urged the court to dismiss the petition.

The island nation has been in a state of political turmoil since President Maithripala Sirisena ousted Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and replaced him with Rajapaksa, a former president, on October 26. He suspended Parliament to prevent a vote, then lifted the suspension, but dissolved it again and called snap elections. Rajapaksa’s government lost two trust motions in Parliament.

On Sunday, Rajapaksa called for snap parliamentary elections to end the ongoing political crisis, claiming that a general election is the only way to restore stability.