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Sri Lanka court accepts challenge against disputed PM

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s Court of Appeal on Monday entertained a challenge against Mahinda Rajapaksa and his disputed cabinet deepening a power struggle that enters its second month.

The court accepted the 26-page petition filed by 122 legislators against Rajapaksa and 48 others who have been named as ministers, state ministers and deputy ministers in a purported government.

The case is to be taken up for the preliminary hearing on Friday.

The petitioners argue that the appointment of Rajapaksa and his “government” causes serious harm to the Sri Lankan state and is seeking an interim order preventing them from exercising any authority of a legitimate minister.

The respondents had seized power unconstitutionally and have no right to hold office, according to legislators from the United National Party (UNP), the Tamil National Alliance (TNA and the Janatha Vikumti Peramuna (JVP).

“The Petitioners state that the fate of the Republic is at risk, given the manner in which the Respondents have seized State power unconstitutionally,” the according to paper filed at the Court of Appeal.

The 122 MPs also say that a “state of anarchy and chaos” would ensue in the country given that the purported government had lost two votes of no-confidence and does not command a majority in Parliament.

They say the purported government will not be able to pass a budget nor will they able to authorize any appropriations, or pass any legislation.

“In short, the conduct of the respondents (Rajapaksa and his cabinet) will result in an imminent shutdown of the entire state,” they added. (COLOMBO, November 26, 2018)





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