Sri Lankan Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa has decided to step down on Saturday in the interest of the “stability of the nation”, his son Namal Rajapaksa said on Friday. Namal Rajapaksa, a member of Parliament, said the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna, the Sri Lanka Freedom Party and others will now work with President Maithripala Sirisena to form a broader coalition government.
Namal Rajapaksa’s announcement came after the United People’s Freedom Alliance’s parliamentary group held a meeting attended by Sirisena and Mahinda Rajapaksa, adaderana.lk reported. Sirisena is the chairperson of the party.
The island country has been in a state of political turmoil since Sirisena ousted Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and replaced him with Mahinda Rajapaksa, a former president, on October 26. He suspended Parliament to prevent a vote, then lifted the suspension, but dissolved it again in November and called for snap elections on January 5. Rajapaksa’s government has lost two trust motions in Parliament.
On Thursday, the Supreme Court of Sri Lanka ruled that Sirisena’s decision to dissolve Parliament was illegal and unconstitutional.