Colombo, Oct 27 (IANS) Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena prorogued Parliament on Saturday, a day after he sacked Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and replaced him with former leader Mahinda Rajapaksa.
The next Parliament session would commence on November 16, the Daily Mirror reported citing the Speaker’s office.
“The President has prorogued the Parliament with effect from 12 noon on Saturday,” Cabinet spokesman Rajitha Senaratne told reporters.
The development came after Wickremesinghe, who says he is still the Prime Minister, urged the Speaker to convene Parliament on Sunday to prove he still retained his parliamentary majority.
“I urge to convene Parliament without leading the country into chaos. It is not necessary to create crisis in the country. Let the Parliament decide who should be the Prime Minister,” he said.
Sri Lankan Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera and State Minister of National Policies and Economic Affairs Harsha de Silva described Sirisena’s action as illegal and in violation of the Constitution, the Island reported.
The political crisis began after Sirisena sacked Wickremesinghe and appointed Rajapaksa as the new Prime Minister on Friday night.
Rajapaksa took the oath in front of the President shortly after the Sirisena-led United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) withdrew from the national coalition government.
The coalition government consisted of the UPFA and the United National Party (UNP) led by Wickremesinghe.