Sri Lanka’s Prime Minister survives no-confidence vote

Sri Lanka’s Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, on Wednesday, survived a no-confidence motion after days of political tensions which has also split the coalition Government. The no-confidence motion against Prime...

Sri Lanka’s Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, on Wednesday, survived a no-confidence motion after days of political tensions which has also split the coalition Government.

The no-confidence motion against Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe was defeated in Parliament with 122 members of Parliament voting against the motion and 76 for it while 26 others were absent during the vote.

Parliament debated the no-confidence motion for 12 hours and 40 minutes. The motion was submitted by the ‘joint opposition’ led by former President Mahinda Rajapaksa.

Among those who voted for the motion were several ruling coalition Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) Ministers who had said that they were ready to resign from their Ministerial posts if the motion is defeated.

Some key SLFP Ministers, including Mahinda Amaraweera, Duminda Dissanayake, Mahinda Samarasinghe, Nimal Siripala de Silva and Sarath Amunugama were absent when the vote was taken. Deputy Minister Nishantha Muthuhettigama, who had signed the motion, was also absent.

Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, who had not signed the no-confidence motion when it was presented to Parliament by the joint opposition, voted for the motion.

All the main minority parties including the Tamil National Alliance and the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress voted against the motion together with the ruling United National Party.

The United National Party is led by Wickremesinghe while the SLFP is led by President Maithripala Sirisena.

Wickremesinghe and Sirisena decided to work together in 2015 to form a coalition unity Government.

However as of late there have been notable differences of opinion arising between the coalition partners.

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