Sri Lanka President replaces PM with Opposition leader, suspends Parliament

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Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena dismissed Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and replaced him with opposition leader Mahinda Rajapakse, hours later suspending the country’s parliament, AFP reported.

“The president has prorogued the parliament with effect from 12 noon on Saturday,” cabinet spokesman Rajitha Senaratne told reporters.

Parliamentary officials said the president had suspended all meetings of the 225-member house until November 16, as per AFP reports.

The development took place after Wickremesinghe urged the speaker to convene the parliament on Sunday to prove that he still retained his parliamentary majority.

Rajapakse was sworn in on Friday night and soon after, his supporters reportedly stormed several state media institutions and intimidated staff.

Wickremesinghe insisted he remained the prime minister.

“I retain the confidence of the house. I am the prime minister and I have the majority,” Wickremesinghe said on Friday.

“According to the constitution, I’m the prime minister. That [removal] is not legal,” he said.

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