Sri Lanka political crisis: Rajapaksa calls for fresh elections

Sri Lanka political crisis: Rajapaksa calls for fresh elections

Sri Lanka political crisis: Rajapaksa calls for fresh elections

The Court of Appeal has issued an interim order halting Mahinda Rajapaksa, his ministers, deputy ministers, and state ministers from continuing to function in their respective portfolios.

The court gave Rajapakse until December 12 to prove to its judges his legitimacy to lead and the authority of his cabinet.

Wickremesinghe said that all political parties agree to hold an election only if a legal government exists in the country and that even the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) have declared this.

The island nation is witnessing a political crisis since President Maithripala Sirisena's controversial move to sack prime minister Ranil Wickeremesinghe and install Mr. Rajapaksa in his place on October 26.

In a statement typed on his personal letter paper, Rajapaksa said: "We are not in agreement with the interim stay order issued by the Appeal Court suspending the functioning of the Cabinet of Ministers.We will be presenting an appeal to the Supreme Court tomorrow morning against this stay order".

Mr. Sirisena later dissolved Parliament, nearly 20 months before its term was to end, and ordered a snap election. The Supreme Court overturned Sirisena's decision to dissolve Parliament and halted the preparations for snap polls.

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Mr Rajapaksa is seen as a hero by many among Sri Lanka's Buddhist majority for ending the war but has been accused by diplomats of rights abuses, particularly at the end of the conflict, which he denies.

Prior to the crisis, Wickramasinghe's UNP had the backing of 106 parliamentarians while Rajapaksa and Sirisena combine had 95 seats.

Rajapaksa, a former president, has lost two confidence votes in parliament but has refused to resign.

Speculation are that President Sirisena may remove Mr. Rajapaksa on Wednesday when another motion would be taken up in Parliament and is defeated.

However, Wickremesinghe's UNP claims that Sirisena will be left with no choice as he would be the man who will command the confidence in the House.

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