Sri Lankan PM Ranil Wickremesinghe reinstated by president who sacked him

Sri Lankan PM Ranil Wickremesinghe reinstated by president who sacked him

Rajapaksa resigned on Saturday as a government shutdown loomed.

This is the fifth time that Wickremesinghe has been sworn in as the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka.

President Sirisena asserted that his political culture was in complete contrast with that of Ranil Wickremesinghe and added that Ranil Wickremesinghe could do no good for the country.

"Rajapaksa, appointed on October 26, will step down from office on Saturday after addressing the nation", Lakshman Abeywardena, a former minister, said.

The United National Front (UNF) is now expected to form a government on its own without going in for a coalition such as a unity or a national government, the sources said.

A day earlier, the Supreme Court opened the way for potential impeachment proceedings against President Maithripala Sirisena ruling that he broke the law by dissolving parliament last month. Beijing, however, has denied these allegations saying that it had no role in getting the former Sri Lankan president appointed as prime minister.

"To ensure stability of the nation, former president.(Rajapaksa) has made a decision to resign from the premiership tomorrow after an address to the nation", his legislator son Namal Rajapaksha said.

Mr Wickremesinghe was replaced by a former president and ally of Mr Sirisena, Mahinda Rajapaksa.

The move promises to ease the crisis, but could also be the beginning of a hard cohabitation between Wickremesinghe and President Maithripala Sirisena, who are in now rival camps.

Sri Lanka's reinstated prime minister Ranil Wickeremesinghe, center, surrounded by his loyal lawmakers and supporters speaks after assuming duties in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Sunday, Dec. 16, 2018.

In early November, Sirisena had signed an official gazette notification dissolving the 225-member Parliament.

It is expected a new Cabinet will be formed by Monday and a vote on account will be passed to provide for the required provisions until a budget for 2019 is formulated, Sri Lankan media reported.

Assuring the President that the UNP would not be party to any impeachment process against him, Premadasa extended an olive branch to work together in the future, quoting from Buddhist scripture.

Rajapaksa will make a special statement on Sunday explaining the reasons for his decision to step down, the daily said. The move had triggered a power struggle that brought the country's government to a standstill.

Rajapaksa said that since a general election can no longer be held, the UPFA cannot implement any of the measures they had planned to take "to prevent the country from becoming another Greece".

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