The Court of Appeal in Sri Lanka on Monday issued an interim order restraining former President Mahinda Rajapaksa from functioning as Prime Minister.
The court gave its order on a writ of quo warranto petition ( Under what authority holding office) filed by 122 MPs. 106 belonging to ousted Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe’s United National Part and 16 from the Tamil National Alliance, local media reported.
The court also served notice on respondents and listed the case for Dec 12 and 13.
The court asked Rajapaksa to explain by Dec 12 on what authority he was holding office after having been voted out twice by Parliament on Nov 14 and 16 President Maithrapala Sirisena has refused to recognise the vote as the Speaker decided on the basis of voice vote without division, holding it is a breach of procedure.
The UNP dominated Parliament led by Speaker Karu Jayasuriya frustrated Rajapakse and his Minister s from taking over. Rajapakse hit back by blocking Speaker’s attempt to take a confidence motion. The Speaker however held a voice and declared that Ranil Wickremasinghe had proved he had the support of 122 MPs in the 220-House .
The second court restraint order came days after Maithrapala’s meeting with the opposition to break the deadlock ended in failure. The President suggested that another floor test be held so whoever enjoyed majority, Rajapakse or Ranil, could become Prime Minister. The Opposition, however, rejected this saying that Ranil had already proved his majority in April and again last month
Meanwhile, Rajapaksa called for a snap parliamentary election and said it was the only way the country could solve the ongoing political instability.
In a special statement released by his office, Rajapaksa sought the support for a snap poll from all those who respected democracy. Rajapaksa's Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna organised a mass rally in Colombo on Monday in support of the demand for a snap polls.