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Sri Lankan ex-president named opposition leader amid objections from ruling party
Last Updated: 2018-12-19 07:23 | Xinhua
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Sri Lankan former President Mahinda Rajapaksa (L) attends a parliament session in Colombo, Sri Lanka, on Dec. 18, 2018. Sri Lankan former President Mahinda Rajapaksa who resigned from the prime ministerial position last Saturday was appointed as leader of the opposition at the parliament by Speaker Karu Jayasuriya on Tuesday amid objections from the ruling party. The parliament convened on Tuesday for the first time since the reinstatement of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, which put an end to a political impasse which erupted since his sudden dismissal on Oct. 26. (Xinhua/A.HAPUARACHCHI)

Sri Lankan former President Mahinda Rajapaksa who resigned from the prime ministerial position last Saturday was appointed as leader of the opposition at the parliament by Speaker Karu Jayasuriya on Tuesday amid objections from the ruling party.

The parliament convened on Tuesday for the first time since the reinstatement of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, which put an end to a political impasse which erupted since his sudden dismissal on Oct. 26.

At the start of the parliamentary session, Speaker Jayasuriya said that since President Maithripala Sirisena's United People's Freedom Alliance is the largest opposition party, he recognized Rajapaksa as the leader of the opposition amid objections by the ruling United National party (UNP) and the Tamil National Alliance (TNA).

TNA MP M.A. Sumanthiran said Rajapaksa could not be appointed as the opposition leader as he had resigned from the United People's Freedom Alliance and joined the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna and called on Speaker Jayasuriya to appoint a committee to probe Rajapaksa's appointment.

The speaker requested Sumanthiran to hand over his complaints in writing and he would give a decision on Friday.

Sri Lanka was plunged into a political crisis since Oct. 26, when President Sirisena sacked Wickremesinghe as the prime minister and appointed Rajapaksa to the post.

Sirisena later appointed a new caretaker government, amid objections from Wickremesinghe and his UNP who said Wickremesinghe's sudden dismissal was illegal.

After a nearly two-month political turmoil, Rajapaksa last Saturday stepped down as the prime minister to pave way for Wickremesinghe's reinstatement.

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Sri Lankan ex-president named opposition leader amid objections from ruling party
Source:Xinhua | 2018-12-19 07:23
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