Colombo, December 14: Former Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa, who was appointed as the Prime Minister in a controversial manner in October, will relinquish the post on Saturday. His resignation comes a day after the Supreme Court refused to stay a lower court order restraining the former Lankan strongman from taking over the premiership of the island country.
Rajapaksa was appointed as the PM on October 26 by President Maithripala Sirisena after sacking Ranil Wickremesinghe, plunging the nation into a constitutional crisis. Sri Lanka’s Supreme Court Rules Sirisena’s Dissolution of Parliament ‘Illegal’.
"To ensure stability of the nation, Former President @PresRajapaksa has decided to resign from the Premiership tomorrow after an address to the nation," Rajapaksa's son Namal tweeted.
The Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) with former president, Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) and others will "now work to form a broader political coalition with President Sirisena", Namal, who is also a lawmaker, added.
The apex court's latest ruling came a day after it unanimously declared that the dissolution of Parliament by President Maithripala Sirisena was "illegal", in a body blow to the embattled leader, whose controversial decisions plunged the island nation into an unprecedented political turmoil.
The Supreme Court decided that a Court of Appeal order issued against the appointment of Rajapaksa as Prime Minister and against his Cabinet from holding office will stand. The appeal filed by Rajapaksa will be taken up for hearing on January 16, 17 and 18.
(With agency inputs)