Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena on Friday night sacked the country’s Prime Minister and appointed former President Mahinda Rajapaksa as the new Prime Minister.
Sirisena sacked the Prime Minister after the President’s party, the United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) decided to withdraw from the coalition government.
United National Party (UNP) leader Ranil Wickremesinghe however said that he was still the Prime Minister and that the new appointment is unconstitutional.
Wickremesinghe said that under a constitutional amendment introduced by the coalition government he cannot be sacked and so he is still the Prime Minister.
He also said that a no-confidence motion submitted against him in Parliament was defeated and that shows that he has the confidence of Parliament.
Wickremesinghe said that he will seek legal action against the appointment of Mahinda Rajapaksa as the new Prime Minister.
President Maithripala Sirisena, meanwhile wrote to Wickremesinghe saying he has been sacked.
In the letter to Wickremesinghe, the President said that he has acted within the powers vested in him.
However, Wickremesinghe has responded saying he has the support of Parliament and continues to remain as Prime Minister.
Former Minister and UPFA Parliamentarian Dayasiri Jayasekera said that the decision to withdraw from the Government was taken in light of the state of the country.
He said that they had no confidence in Wickremesinghe and so wanted him removed as Prime Minister.