Rajapaksa files appeal against court’s stay order

Rajapaksa files appeal against court’s stay order

Agency News

Embattled Sri Lankan leader Mahinda Rajapaksa on Tuesday filed an appeal in the Sri Lanka Supreme Court against its interim order of the Court of Appeal, which is one rung below, restraining him from functioning as Prime Minister and suspending his Cabinet of Ministers. The court of appeals has set Dec 12 and 13 for the hearing .

Unlike in most other countries except the US, the Court of Appeal is another layer before the Supreme Court and it hears appeals from High Courts

Rajapaksa has contended that the Supreme Court alone is empowered to interpret the Constitution as the crisis has been triggered by a tussle between President Maithrapala Sirisena and ousted Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe.

The Court of Appeal gave an  interim stay order on a petition filed by 122 MPs drawn from the United National Party of ousted Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe as well as the Janata Vimukthi Perumuna and the Tamil National Alliance which support him.

The court has asked Rajapaksa and 49 Cabinet Ministers to appear on Dec 12 to show on what authority they are holding office.

Rajapaksa has already been twice voted out by the 220-Parliament in which Ranil Wickremasinghe has majority support. But the President refuses to recognize the outcome as the Speaker has decided on the basis of a voice vote which he holds is contrary to procedure.