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SL's Parl passes no-confidence vote against Mahinda Rajapaksa

SLs Parl passes no-confidence vote against Mahinda Rajapaksa
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Colombo: Sri Lanka's Parliament on Wednesday passed a no-confidence motion against Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa who was installed by President Maithripala Sirisena in a controversial move, a day after the Supreme Court overturned the presidential decree to dissolve Parliament and hold snap polls.

The Parliament on Wednesday met for the first time since October 26, when President Sirisena sacked prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, installed Rajapaksa in his place and suspended the Parliament plunging the island nation into a constitutional crisis.

Parliament Speaker Karu Jayasuriya announced that a majority of the 225-member assembly supported the no-confidence motion against Rajapaksa, the former strongman.

"According to the voice, I recognise that the government has no majority," Jayasuriya announced in the House as Rajapaksa supporters protested.

He gave the ruling after the no-confidence motion was taken for a vote. The Speaker calculated the votes based on the voices he heard as Rajapaksa supporters disrupted the proceedings.

Jayasuriya later adjourned the House until 10 am Thursday.

Speaker Jayasuriya has officially written to President Sirisena asking him to take further constitutional action on the issue.

A copy of the motion with 122 signatures of Parliamentarians, who have expressed lack of confidence in Prime Minister Rajapaksa and his cabinet, has been sent to President Sirisena.

The Speaker's office said that the Speaker had requested the President to take the next step under the Constitution.

Speaking after the no-trust vote, ousted prime minister Wickremesinghe claimed that his government had been restored after an extra-constitutional action by President Sirisena to sack him as the premier.

"We will now take steps to ensure that the government in place before October 26 will continue. I wish to inform all government servants and police that you should not carry out illegal orders from the purported government that has failed to demonstrate the confidence of the people," he said.

Wickremesinghe's United National Party (UNP) Deputy Leader Sajith Premadasa told reporters that the Government headed by Rajapaksa lost the floor test.

He said Prime Minister Rajapaksa must now step down as he does not have majority support in Parliament.

However, Dinesh Gunawardena and Vasudeva Nanayakkara, both Rajapaksa's senior aides, said Speaker's action was illegal.

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