Former Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapaksa was appointed the country’s leader of the Opposition on Tuesday as Parliament met for the first time since the reinstatement of Ranil Wickremesinghe as prime minister, Adaderana.lk reported. Rajapaksa replaces R Sampanthan of the Tamil National Alliance, who held the post since 2015.
The Tamil National Alliance and the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress objected to Rajapaksa’s appointment, PTI reported. The move, which was announced by Speaker Karu Jayasuriya, came three days after Rajapaksa resigned as prime minister.
Sri Lanka plunged into a state of political turmoil since President Maithripala Sirisena ousted Wickremesinghe and replaced him with Rajapaksa on October 26. Sirisena took the deicision after his United People’s Freedom Alliance withdrew from the coalition government with Wickremesinghe’s United National Party.
Sirisena suspended Parliament on the following day to prevent a floor test but lifted the suspension on November 2. However, he dissolved it again a few days later and called for snap elections on January 5. The president was forced to reinstate Wickremesinghe after the country’s Supreme Court, on two different occasions, nullified his moves. On December 13, the Supreme Court ruled that Sirisena’s decision to dissolve Parliament was illegal and unconstitutional.