Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena lifts suspension of parliament

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Sri Lanka: Country stable, says Maithripala Sirisena’s office as hundreds rally against ex-PM’s sacking President Maithripala Sirisena. (File photo)

Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena Thursday lifted the suspension of parliament which was earlier effective until November 16. A meeting of the legislature has also been convened on Monday to end the current political deadlock in the country over the sudden sacking of former prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, officials said.

Former president Mahinda Rajpaksa was reinstated as the Prime Minister by President Sirisena replacing Wickremesinghe, in a dramatic turn of events.

READ | Sri Lanka: Country stable, says Maithripala Sirisena’s office as hundreds rally against ex-PM’s sacking

Experts had termed the suspension of parliament as a means to buy time to engineer crossovers from Wickremesinghe’s side to Rajapaksa in the 225 member parliament to reach the 113 majority mark.

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Sirisena and parliament Speaker Karu Jayasuria discussed the issue Wednesday. Sirisena later indicated that he may call the sessions next week.

ALSO READ | Maithripala Sirisena suspends parliament till Nov 16 as political crisis deepens in Sri Lanka

Sirisena’s move came after sacked Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe had sought an emergency session to prove his majority, deepening the political crisis in the island nation. The parliament was earlier due to meet on November 5 to unveil the 2019 annual budget. Rajapaksa and Sirisena combine has only 95 seats and is short of a simple majority in the 225-member house. Wickremesinghe’s United National Party (UNP) has 106 seats on its own with just seven short of the majority.

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