'I will continue to be PM': Ranil Wickremesinghe calls Mahinda Rajapaksa's appointment as Sri Lankan PM 'illegal'

The swearing-in of former president Mahinda Rajapaksa as Sri Lanka's new prime minister is 'illegal and unconstitutional', Ranil Wickremesinghe asserted.

Press Trust of India October 26, 2018 22:10:13 IST
'I will continue to be PM': Ranil Wickremesinghe calls Mahinda Rajapaksa's appointment as Sri Lankan PM 'illegal'

Colombo: The swearing-in of former president Mahinda Rajapaksa as Sri Lanka's new prime minister is "illegal and unconstitutional", sacked premier Ranil Wickremesinghe asserted on Friday.

I will continue to be PM Ranil Wickremesinghe calls Mahinda Rajapaksas appointment as Sri Lankan PM illegal

File image of Ranil Wickremesinghe. Reuters

In a dramatic turn of events, President Maithripala Sirisena's Sri Lanka Freedom Party withdrew from the ruling coalition and then sacked Wickremesinghe.

In a telephonic conversation with a TV station, Wickremesinghe said, "I will continue to be the prime minister. Mahinda Rajapaksa's appointment is unconstitutional."

Similarly, Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera tweeted that "the appointment of Mahinda Rajapaksa as the Prime Minister is unconstitutional and illegal. This is an anti-democratic coup".

Mahinda Amaraweera, agriculture minister and the general secretary of the United People's Freedom Alliance (UPFA), told reporters that the UPFA decision has been conveyed to Parliament.

Within minutes of the statement, Rajapaksa was invited by Sirisena to take oath as the prime minister.

The unity government was formed in 2015 when Sirisena was elected president with Wickremesinghe's support.

Sirisena, who was Rajapaksa's minister of health, broke away from him to contest the presidential elections.

Political analysts said Sirisena's move to install Rajapaksa as the prime minister could lead to a constitutional crisis as the 19th amendment to the Constitution would not allow the sacking of Wickremesinghe as the premier without a majority.

Rajapaksa and Sirisena combine has only 95 seats and is short of a simple majority. Wickremesinghe's UNP has 106 seats on its own with just seven short of the majority.

Updated Date:

Find latest and upcoming tech gadgets online on Tech2 Gadgets. Get technology news, gadgets reviews & ratings. Popular gadgets including laptop, tablet and mobile specifications, features, prices, comparison.

also read

Parliament's Monsoon Session: Opposition to oppose four legislations that 'take away rights of states', says Jairam Ramesh
Politics

Parliament's Monsoon Session: Opposition to oppose four legislations that 'take away rights of states', says Jairam Ramesh

The legislation will be brought in to replace four ordinances — three related to the farm sector and the amendment to the Banking Regulation Act

'UK govt shaming itself': Two former prime ministers pen op-ed panning Boris Johnson's proposed Brexit legislation
World

'UK govt shaming itself': Two former prime ministers pen op-ed panning Boris Johnson's proposed Brexit legislation

In an article in The Sunday Times, John Major and Tony Blair, who played a crucial role in bringing peace to Northern Ireland, warned that the Internal Market Bill imperils that peace

Former New Zealand cricketer Craig McMillan pulls out of Bangladesh coaching staff
First Cricket News

Former New Zealand cricketer Craig McMillan pulls out of Bangladesh coaching staff

Bangladesh had appointed McMillan in August for the tour after former South African batsman Neil McKenzie stepped down from the post because of the coronavirus crisis.