Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena today prorogued the parliament till 16th of next month, a day after he appointed former President Mahinda Rajapaksa as new Prime minister, replacing Ranil Wickremsinghe. Later, the group led by Rajapaksa said that they will prove their majority on the floor of Parliament on the same day Parliament is convened. However, Wickremsinghe has maintained that he is still the Prime minister saying the parliamentary majority is still with him. Wickremsinghe today addressed a press conference with leaders of smaller parties in coalition, indicating that it is almost intact. United National Party (UNP) led by him has decided to organize a protest march in Colombo on Monday against the President’s decision. On a day of fast changing developments, President also issued separate orders to remove secretary to Ranil Wickremsinghe and DG of information department. Meanwhile, Rajapaksa held a meeting with his MPs to brief them on circumstances leading to his swearing in. There was no immediate announcement for cabinet formation but a meeting is scheduled in this regard this evening at President’s office. Rajapaksa side has maintained that the cabinet under Ranil Wickremsinghe got dissolved automatically after party led by President Sirisena decided to quit the unity government last evening. However, supporters of Ranil and several civil society members have maintained that PM cannot be removed under the 19th amendment of constitution till he loses the majority support in Parliament. UNP-led coalition had 106 MPs in 22 member Parliament while the alliance led by Rajapaksa has 95 while Tamil National Alliance (TNA) has 16 members.
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