Colombo, November 4: Under fire from international regulatory bodies, including the United Nations, Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena on Sunday said he would uplift the suspension of Parliament within 10 days.
The announcement assumes significance as ousted Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe had demanded a special session of the Parliament to be convened where he would undertake a vote of confidence. Rajapaksa Calls For Snap Parliamentary Polls In His Inaugural Statement As New Lanka PM.
As per the statement issued by Sirisena, he claimed to be committed towards ending the impasse which has been created by the sacking of Wickremesinghe.
The "coup", as analysts have called it, was staged on October 26 when Sirisena announced the dismissal of Wickremesinghe. On the same day, former President Mahinda Rajapaksa was sworn-in as the new Prime Minister.
Sirisena had further announced that he would be ending the coalition with Wickremesinghe's Unity National Party (UNP) -- the largest legislative block in the Sri Lankan Parliament.
According to Wickremesinghe, the order issued by Sirisena would not stand legislative scrutiny. "I have the numbers to prove my majority in the House. There is no way I could be removed from the post except by imposing dictatorship," he said.
Wickremesinghe's UNP has 106 legislators in the 225-member Parliament -- seven short of the majority mark. However, a number of independent lawmakers and those affiliated to smaller parties are likely to extend support to him.
Legislative battle aside, analysts claim that Wickremesinghe has won the perception contest as Sirisena's credibility has been dented for aligning with Rajapaksa -- the strongman against whom he revolted in 2015 and was elected as the new President.