Sri Lankan president reconvenes parliament in effort to avert constitutional crisis

Sirisena has been Sri Lanka's president since 2015

Sirisena has been Sri Lanka's president since 2015

He also announced his decision to sack Wickremesinghe and replace him with former president Mahinda Rajapaksa following the collapse of the governing Freedom Party (SLFP)-UNP coalition.

"I have to agree with the majority of parliament who believe that the president's actions are undemocratic, unconstitutional and against all norms of parliamentary procedure", Jayasuriya, who holds a neutral position in parliament, said Monday.

A majority in parliament has requested that all changes made have been anti-constitutional and against the traditions.

"Until the new faction (of Rajapakse) is able to prove a majority in parliament, I will recognise the situation that prevailed prior to October 26", Jayasuriya said in a one-page statement.

He asked the president to reconvene the parliament for a floor test and end the ongoing political crisis.

The rally, attended by thousands of supporters, was the first public show of Mr Sirisena and Mr Rajapaksa together after the island nation plunged into a constitutional crisis. However, Sirisena Sunday issued notice to reconvene Parliament on November 14.

The political developments had no negative impact on tourism, new Foreign Minister Sarath Amunugama said at the press conference.

Some members of his party have alleged they were offered portfolios and huge amounts of money to switch allegiances.

A new caretaker government has since then been appointed, with Wickremesinghe and other political parties calling the move illegal and urging Speaker Jayasuriya to convene Parliament to prove their majority.

According to latest counts, Wickremesinghe has 103 MPs from the 225-seat assembly while Rajapakse and Sirisena have 101. He claims to hold a majority in the House but was unable to hold a confidence vote as Sirisena suspended the Parliament.

Parliament road from Borella was a sea of heads as the crowds kept streaming into the Parliament Roundabout where the rally under the theme "Ratama Rakina Jana Mahimaya" presided over by the President and the Prime Minister was held.

He announced the dismissal on a live television session on October 26, 2018, where he also announced the appointment of former president Mahinda Rajapaksa, the man he joined forces with Wickremesinghe to defeat.

Thousands of supporters of Rajapaksa headed for the capital on Monday to rally in support of his nomination as the prime minister.

While Wickremesinghe is staying on in the premier's residence called Temple Trees, Rajapaksa has taken over the offices of the prime minister following his swearing in.

Wickremesinghe's United National Party (UNP) risks losing legislators to Rajapakse's camp as the days drag by.

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