Sri Lankan speaker refuses to accept Rajapakse as PM

Ousted Sri Lankan prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe,Ranil Wickremesinghe,Sri Lankan PM ‘s residence

"A majority of members have conveyed that the changes done in parliament are unconstitutional and against traditions", Jayasuriya said.

Asked what his next step would be if Parliament is not convened before 16 November, Wickremesinghe said that they had a plan in mind and would implement it.

Jayasuriya said most members of parliament had called on him not to accept the changes.

TNA legislator Dharmalingam Sithadthan said the president had called the Tamil legislators to a meeting Wednesday - the same day parliament was expected to reconvene.

He said he fired the prime minister because Wickremesinghe was trying to implement "a new, extreme liberal political concept by giving more priority for foreign policies and neglecting the local people's sentiment". Jayasuriya, however, refused to do so saying he was powerless unless the president consented.

Addressing the "Jana Mahimaya" political rally organized by UPFA and several political groups in support of the present government at the Parliamentary Roundabout today, President Sirisena said the appointment was made in accordance with the Constitution and within the legal framework of the country. They have delayed the date for reconvening parliament so that they could buy over MPs.

Some members of his party have alleged they were offered portfolios and huge amounts of money to switch allegiances.

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The United States and the European Union have urged the president to immediately summon parliament and let deputies decide who is to lead the country.

According to latest counts, Wickremesinghe has 103 MPs from the 225-seat assembly while Rajapakse and Sirisena have 101.

Anaylists say Sirisena's move to suspend parliament to engineer defections from the UNP and its allies appears to have succeeded. The prime minister can only be dismissed if the Cabinet of ministers is dismissed, the prime minister resigns or the prime minister ceases to be a member of parliament.

Wickremesinghe who branded Sirisena's October 26 action to sack him a constitutional coup maintains that he holds majority. "I trust you and you can always trust me", Rajapaksa said.

On Saturday, the Tamil National Alliance - an ethnic minority Tamil party - said it will support a no-confidence motion to be brought against Rajapaksa, after one lawmaker from their party joined Rajapaksa's government.

Supporters at the rally chanted "Whose power is this?"

The President said he was forced to take the decision to free the general public from the Wickremesinghe government's economic vision that has burdened the people. The President also requested former Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe to let the new government proceed with its business without any hindrance.

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