Sri Lanka’s President Maithripala Sirisena has lifted the suspension of parliament and scheduled a meeting of the legislature on November 5 amid mounting pressure to end a political crisis. Sirisena named Mahinda Rajapaksa – a former two-time president – as prime minister on Friday after abruptly dismissing the government of Ranil Wickremesinghe.
“President has decided to reconvene the parliament on 5th,” Rajapaksa said addressing a meeting at the prime minister’s office in the capital, Colombo. The move will allow the 225-member House to choose between Rajapaksa and his opponent Wickremesinghe, who has been demanding that his United National Party (UNP) be allowed to prove its majority on the floor of the House.
The move comes a day after President Sirisena and Speaker of parliament, Karu Jayasuriya, who belongs to sacked prime minister’s UNP party, held a meeting during which the president asked the Speaker to recognise Rajapaksa as the lawful prime minister.