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* Sri Lanka President agrees to reconvene parliament on November 7 - speaker
Fri, Nov 2, 2018, 03:54 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Nov 02, Colombo: Sri Lanka's Speaker Karu Jayasuriya announced Friday that President Maithripala Sirisena has agreed to reconvene the parliament on November 7.

Parliamentarians of United National Front, the main Tamil party Tamil National Alliance (TNA), and the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) met with Speaker Karu Jayasuriya on Friday for a floor test to determine which party held the majority.

Speaker informed the lawmakers that the parliament will be reconvened on 7 November and expects the gazette to be issued soon.

The MPs have urged the speaker to convene parliament with his powers if President fails to reconvene the 225- member parliament which was prorogued by the President until November 16 after the dismissal of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and appointment of former strongman Mahinda Rajapaksa as the prime minister.

Wickremesinghe has refused to accept the dismissal and has dug in at the prime minister's official residence Temple Trees since his unconstitutional removal on October 26 demanding the President to reconvene parliament to prove that he has the majority support.

The President has come under increasing pressure from the civil societies and legislators as well as the international community to reconvene the parliament.

President's move to prorogue parliament on October 27 without consulting the Speaker was seen as a way for the newly appointed Prime Minister Rajapaksa to allow time to buy UNP parliamentarians.

At the meeting today with the Speaker, UNP parliamentarian Palitha Range Bandara has informed the Speaker that he was offered $2.8 million dollars to cross over.

Five UNP parliamentarians have crossed over and they have been offered ministerial portfolios in the President's new cabinet. Parliamentarian Dr. Harsha de Silva on a Twitter post said the UN Secretary General has spoken to President Sirisena last night. Reportedly, the Secretary General had requested the President to respect democratic values and constitutional process, uphold the rule of law and ensure the safety and security of all Sri Lankans.


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