Sri Lanka Parliament votes against Rajapaksa in no-confidence motion

A majority of the 225-member assembly supported a no-confidence motion against Mr Mahinda Rajapaksa who was made prime minister on Oct 26, 2018, in place of Mr Ranil Wickremesinghe.
A majority of the 225-member assembly supported a no-confidence motion against Mr Mahinda Rajapaksa who was made prime minister on Oct 26, 2018, in place of Mr Ranil Wickremesinghe.PHOTO: AFP

COLOMBO (AFP) - Sri Lanka's Parliament passed a motion of no-confidence in the controversially appointed government of Mr Mahinda Rajapaksa on Wednesday (Nov 14), a day after the Supreme Court overturned a presidential decree dissolving the legislature.

Speaker Karu Jayasuriya ruled that a majority of the 225-member assembly supported a no-confidence motion against Mr Rajapaksa who was made prime minister on Oct 26 in place of Mr Ranil Wickremesinghe.

The result does not automatically mean that Mr Wickremesinghe, whose party is the biggest in Parliament, has won the constitutional showdown.

President Maithripala Sirisena retains the power to choose the next prime minister.

Amid chaotic scenes, Mr Rajapaksa, 72, and his legislator son Namal walked out of the red-carpeted chamber just before the Speaker called for a vote.

MPs loyal to Mr Rajapaksa attempted to grab the mace, the symbol of authority of the legislature, to disrupt the vote, but Mr Jayasuriya went ahead.

“The ayes have it,” the Speaker announced over his public address system. “I rule that this House does not have confidence in the government (of Mr Rajapaksa).”

Several Rajapaksa ministers came out of Parliament accusing the Speaker of violating parliamentary norms by holding the crucial vote against their wishes.