Sri Lankan Speaker Defies President, Calls Parliament Meeting Next Week

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President Maithripala Sirisena's party says the assembly must remain shut till November 16. (File)

Colombo:

Sri Lanka's parliament speaker on Friday defied a suspension order by the country's president and called a meeting of lawmakers next week to discuss a worsening constitutional crisis.

"The Speaker met a majority of MPs at a committee room and promised he will open parliament on November 7," Speaker Karu Jayasuriya's spokesman told AFP.

President Maithripala Sirisena's party has said the 225-member assembly must remain shut until November 16 amid turmoil over his sacking of Ranil Wickremesinghe as prime minister.

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Sirisena wants former strongman leader Mahinda Rajapakse to run the government but Wickremesinghe has refused to accept his dismissal and demanded a meeting of parliament to prove he has majority backing.

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