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Politics

Sri Lanka parliament speaker recognizes Wickremesinghe as PM

A man walks past a poster of Sri Lanka's newly appointed Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa and President Maithripala Sirisena on a main road in Colombo, Sri Lanka Oct. 28.   © Reuters

NEW DELHI (Kyodo) -- The speaker of Sri Lanka's parliament on Sunday recognized Ranil Wickremesinghe as the country's prime minister, two days after President Maithripala Sirisena sacked him in a dramatic move, according to Press Trust of India.
      
In a letter to Sirisena, speaker Karu Jayasuriya also questioned the president's decision to suspend parliament until Nov. 16, saying it will have "serious and undesirable" consequences on the country, according to the report.
      
He asked the president to restore Wickremesinghe's privileges as the leader of the government who has "obtained a mandate to secure democracy and good governance."
      
Sirisena on Friday dismissed Wickremesinghe and replaced him with controversial former strongman leader Mahinda Rajapaksa.
      
On Saturday, Wickremesinghe demanded an emergency session of parliament to prove his majority, but the president responded by suspending the parliament until Nov. 16.
      
Wickremesinghe has insisted he is still the prime minister according to the Constitution.
      
Rajapaksa's return to power ends a more than three-year-old coalition government between Wickremesinghe's United National Party and Sirisena's Sri Lanka Freedom Party.
      
Rajapaksa was toppled in January 2015, after 10 years as president. He was elected back to parliament at a general election held later that year.
 

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