Sri Lanka’s disputed Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa has reportedly resigned from his post, ending a period of turbulence in the country’s parliamentary history where he clung on to power despite suffering no-confidence motions.
Mahinda Rajapaksa signed what was called a ‘resignation’ letter at his residence in capital Colombo.
Rajapaksa informed the lawmakers of United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) that he has resigned from the post, MP Shehan Semasinghe told reporters.
Rajapaksa was appointed as the prime minister on October 26 by President Sirisena in a controversial move after sacking Ranil Wickremesinghe, which plunged the country into an unprecedented constitutional crisis.
The Supreme Court on Friday refused to stay a court order restraining Rajapaksa, 73, from holding the office of Prime Minister until it fully heard the case next month.
The apex court on Thursday unanimously declared that the dissolution of Parliament by Sirisena was “illegal”.
Pro-Rajapaksa lawmaker, Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena, had told reporters that Rajapaksa decided in a meeting on Friday with President Sirisena to resign to allow the President to appoint a new government.
After Rajapaksa’s resignation, Ranil Wickremesinghe is expected to take oath as Sri Lanka’s Prime Minister on Sunday.
President Maithripala Sirisena has reportedly agreed to reinstate ousted Prime Minister Wickremesinghe in the post after a discussion with him over the phone on Friday, Colombo Page reported.
Wickremesinghe’s United National Party (UNP) said that it was decided during the discussion that he will take oath as the Prime Minister on Sunday.