Sri Lanka PM defeats no-trust move with 122 votes
ECONOMYNEXT – The United National Party defeated the no-confidence motion against Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe with a majority of 46 seats, but several of his coalition ministers voted against him dealing a major blow to the unity government.
MPs voted 76 in favour of the motion and 122 against while 26 legislators were absent in the 225-member assembly at the end of a lengthy polemic debate which saw invective and barbs thrown from both sides of the House.
President Maithripala Sirisena’s faction of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) had decided to vote in favour of the motion to topple Wickeremesinghe, but seven senior SLFP ministers broke ranks and were absent at the time of voting. They included Nimal Siripala de Silva, a key mover who campaigned against Wickremesinghe.
A notable absentee was MP Malith Jayatillake, a senior aide of President Sirisena who was accused of having been the driving force behind the move which was initially mooted by the Joint Opposition of former president Mahinda Rajapaksa.
Among SLFP senior ministers who voted against the Prime Minister included Susil Premajayantha and Anura Yapa.
State minister Nishantha Mutuhettigama who signed the no-confidence motion was not present at voting time. (COLOMBO, April 4, 2018)