Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena has rejected the motion of no-confidence passed by parliament yesterday against new Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa. In a reply to Speaker Karu Jayasuriya last night, the President said that the proper procedure was not followed when the no-confidence motion was submitted.
The President said that the copy of the motion sent to him did not have the seal of the Parliament and that the Speaker had violated the constitution through the process. The letter also noted that President is expected to appoint Prime minister by evaluating the prevailing situation and decide on the person best suited for the country adding the opinion of President cannot be questioned or tested.
Earlier, the speaker had written to the President forwarding a copy of no-confidence motion signed by 122 MPs and sought appropriate action. A vote on the no-confidence was taken in Parliament yesterday and was passed by a voice vote and not a vote by name amidst commotion in Parliament.
Meanwhile, Mr Rajapaksa is to make a special statement in Parliament today. A government minister said it is a tradition for any new Prime Minister to make a statement on the first day in parliament.
The minister said since he was not given the opportunity to speak in parliament yesterday, he will make his statement today. However, ousted Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has said the no-confidence motion passed in Parliament with a majority could not be challenged adding that if anyone wanted to challenge the Speaker’s decision, they could move a resolution today.
His party has called for a mass protest in capital Colombo today saying it will send a message to President to stop his arbitrary and unconstitutional act.
The political crisis in Sri Lanka is completely polarized now with President and new government on one side and Parliament speaker along with ousted government on other side. Mr Rajapaksa in his statement raised concern over price rise, trade agreements and sale of national assets while calling for general elections.
Speaker at the beginning of session refused to recognize any side as government or opposition. Pretty has rejected the no confidence motion passed yesterday saying it violates parliamentary procedures and process. Tension is escalating between the two sides and security has been tightened around parliament and government ministries.