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Won’t recognize Rajapaksa as PM till he wins floor test: Sri Lanka Speaker

Sri Lankan Parliament Speaker Karu Jayasuriya slammed President Maithripala Sirisena, saying it was “anti-democratic” to remove Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and suspend Parliament, and that he would not recognize Mahinda Rajapaksa as the prime minister unless it was proved by a floor test.

The tough statement from Mr. Jayasuriya came after Mr. Sirisena announced on Sunday that Parliament would reconvene on November 14, a week later than he had promised.

In the statement released Jayasuriya said a majority of members in Parliament have submitted a petition to him stating that the changes made in Parliament recently by President Sirisena were unconstitutional.

As a result, Mr. Rajapaksa will not be given the Prime Minister seat in Parliament as the current government members will need to sit in the Opposition seats.

Mr. Sirisena had suspended parliamentary proceedings until November 16 after abruptly firing Prime Minister Wickremesinghe and replacing him with Mr. Rajapaksa, a controversial former President, on October 26.

The Speaker had expected Parliament to reconvene on November 7. However, Mr. Sirisena on Sunday issued a notice to reconvene Parliament on November 14.

Civil society organizations have demanded that Mr. Jayasuriya re-summon Parliament on his own. Mr. Jayasuriya, however, refused to do so saying he was powerless unless the President consented.

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