Sri Lankan President says won’t resign, ready to hand over govt to whoever proves majority


Colombo [Sri Lanka]: Gotabaya Rajapaksa on Tuesday informed senior party members that he will not step down as Sri Lankan President but is ready to hand over the government to whichever party proves that it has a majority of 113 seats in Parliament.

According to Daily Mirror, Rajapaksa held political meetings on Monday even as public protests continued against shortages of essential goods and electricity power cuts.
Parliament is scheduled to convene for the first time today, since the public protests and with Speaker, Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena presiding to conduct a vote to determine which party holds the absolute majority of 113 seats in the 225-member assembly.

On Sunday, 26 Sri Lankan Cabinet Ministers resigned en masse from their positions amid rising public anger against the government over the economic crisis. President Rajapaksa invited opposition parties to join the cabinet and form a unity government to tackle the crisis.

Daily Mirror newspaper reported that with the exit of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) and some government MPs threatening to sit independent, the government has lost its two-third majority.

The SLPP is however, now trying to hold on to its 113 seats so that it could continue in government even with a simple majority and Mahinda Rajapaksa could continue as the Prime Minister.

If the government fails to show its numbers today then a proposal will be made to the Speaker to call for a debate to decide on the new Prime Minister and as President Rajapaksa has decided, the government will be handed over to the new party, Daily Mirror reported.

The country’s government on Saturday blocked access to social media platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, WhatsApp and YouTube, but lifted the ban on Sunday afternoon after the PM’s son Namal Rajapaksa spoke against it. (ANI)


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