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Ex-Lankan president Sirisena eyes return to Parliament, says expelled lawmaker

Ex-Lankan president Sirisena eyes return to Parliament, says expelled lawmaker

Colombo: Sri Lanka's former president Maithripala Sirisena is eyeing a return to the Parliament, an expelled senior lawmaker of his party claimed on Sunday.

AHM Fowzie, a Sri Lanka Freedom Party member who was appointed a parliamentarian by Sirisena as the party leader, claimed the SLFP expelled him so as to appoint Sirisena in his place.

As per rule in Lanka, an elected parliamentarian cannot be sacked unless they resign on their own.

In the recently held presidential polls in which Gotabhaya Rajapaksa emerged as the winner, Sirisena, who was elected in 2015, did not sought re-election.

During the polls, Sirisena as the SLFP president stayed neutral but his party backed Rajapaksa.

However, Fowzie backed Rajapaksa's rival United National Party (UNP) candidate Sajith Premadasa.

Taking a disciplinary action against Fowzie, the SLFP Central Committee on Thursday suspended his membership.

Fowzie said he will move court against the decision to sack him from the party.

"He (Sirisena) is trying to sack me from the Parliament and get himself appointed in my place," Fowzie said.

As per provision, Sirisena can make a comeback to the Parliament only if there is a vacancy in the appointed parliamentarians list.

President Rajapaksa has vowed to call a snap general election "at the earliest opportunity" as he appointed a 16-member interim Cabinet on Friday.

The SLFP has unanimously decided to contest the general election with Rajapaksa's Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP).

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