Sri Lanka Parliament passes vote of confidence on ousted PM

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Colombo, Dec 12 (IANS) Sri Lanka’s Parliament on Wednesday passed a vote of confidence on ousted Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe with 117 lawmakers from the 225-member Parliament voting in his favour.

The vote came as incumbent Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa and parliamentarians loyal to him boycotted sessions for the third consecutive week, alleging that Speaker Karu Jayasuriya was acting in favour of Wickremesinghe and his United National Party (UNP), Xinhua news agency reported.

Following the vote, Wickremesinghe thanked all the parliamentarians who voted for him and promised to protect democracy in the island country.

Rajapaksa loyalists, however, termed the vote as “invalid”, saying former strongman was appointed the Prime Minister and there was a government in place as the Court of Appeal had only temporarily suspended the government from performing its duties.

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Meanwhile, the Speaker informed President Maithripala Sirisena on the results of the confidence vote, officials said.

Sri Lanka has been embroiled in a political turmoil since President Sirisena surprisingly sacked Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe in late October and appointed former President Rajapaksa in his place.

–IANS

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