Fresh parliamentary polls need of hour in Sri Lanka: Mahinda Rajapaksa

Source: PTI | By Shahid Mukhtesar | Published on 26th November 2018, 1:18 PM | Global News |

Colombo: Sri Lanka's controversially appointed prime minister Mahinda Rajapaksa said Sunday that stability in the country could only be restored through a fresh round of parliamentary elections.

The country is witnessing a political crisis since President Maithripala Sirisena last month abruptly sacked prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and replaced him with former strongman Rajapaksa in a move termed by many as unconstitutional.

Both Wickremesinghe and Rajapaksa have been claiming to be the legitimate prime minister since October 26.

Rajapaksa, in his first televised address since becoming the prime minister, said on Sunday that the purported government, led by Sirisena, was only an interim arrangement and that stability could only be restored through a fresh round of parliamentary polls.

He said that President Sirisena has entrusted him to resurrect the falling economy and living standards of the people.

"It is now barely a month since the change of government on October 26. What we have now is only an interim government.

When a downward trend manifests itself, it is difficult to turn things around in a month or two," Rajapaksa said in the address.

Rajapaksa said Wickremesinghe's United National Party is hesitant to face elections unlike all other parties.

He alleged that the Wickremesinghe government borrowed USD 20.7 billion in three years due to which "it will take a while to turn things around".

Rajapaksa has so far failed to prove his parliamentary majority. He has been defeated in at least three no trust motions in Parliament.

However, he has refused to step down and said that these motions are not recognised, accusing parliamentary Speaker Karu Jayasuriya of bias.

Jayasuriya has said that Parliament will not recognise Rajapaksa until he proved his majority in a floor test.

Read These Next

29 Indians return from Dubai via Pakistan

Attari (Amritsar): At least 29 Indians, who had gone to Dubai to watch a cricket match which was called off later, on Wednesday night returned to India through the land transit route of Attari-Wagah border here. ...

Policy action needed for a healthy global economy: IMF

Washington DC [USA]:  While quarantining and social distancing is the right prescription to combat COVID-19's public health impact, the exact opposite is needed when it comes to securing the global economy, ...