In the latest twist to ongoing political crisis in Sri Lanka, its Supreme Court has suspended the president’s controversial decision to dissolve parliament.
MPs are now planning to meet to decide between the two men – Ranil Wickremesinghe and Mahinda Rajapaksha – claiming to be country’s lawful prime minister.
The verdict lends direction the the country thrown into crisis by the president first sacking incumbent prime minister Wickremmesinghe unconstitutionally and appointing Rajapaksha in his place.
Wickremmesinghe who continued to be holed up in the prime ministerial residence despite “ouster” said :
“Today we have witnessed a resounding victory for the people’s franchise,” Wickremesinghe said. “The powers of the president are limited and he must act according to the law. He is not above the law.”
The parliament is due to resume tomorrow and will hold a confidence vote on leadership.
The president who had problems getting along with Weickremesinghe attempted to install Rajapaksa, who ruled the country for a decade until 2015, as the new prime minister. In his time in office, he drew the country closer to China and fell out with the west over a litany of alleged human rights abuses.
Rajapaksa his supporters took charge of the govt institutions but failed to garner enough MPs to join their government.
This failure is believed to have triggered a desperate Sirisena to dissolve the parliament and announce fresh elections, hoping a ballot victory that would catapult Rajapaksa back in charge and and end the constitutional crisis.