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Don't be like Hitler: sacked Lankan PM tells President Sirisena

Press Trust of India  |  Colombo 

Likening Sri Lankan to Adolf Hitler, the country's toppled Tuesday said he was not afraid of snap polls but was against the use of referendums by "dictators".

is going through a major political crisis since October 26 when Sirisena, in a controversial move, removed Wickremesinghe and installed ex-strongman in his place.

The later dissolved the Parliament and called for a snap election on January 5. However, the overturned Sirisena's decision to dissolve Parliament and halted the preparations for snap polls.

On Monday a lower court temporarily barred Sirisena-appointed Rajapaksa from performing his duties.

In his strongest yet statement against the president, the said the United (UNF) was prepared to face elections and they are "not afraid of elections."

Speaking from Temple Trees, the official residence of the Sri Lankan Prime Minister, which he has refused to vacate since his sacking, Wickremesinghe said, "All of us who are here in government, has taken an oath to defend the Constitution.

"So we want them to defend the Constitution... Follow the Constitution.

"Don't be like Hitler and some of the other dictators who used the referendum," Wickremesinghe was quoted as saying by Mirror.

"As far as the elections are concerned, we have only two concerns. First, it must be a lawful government. And only the UNF and I can command that majority. Secondly, all the parties must come to a consensus on the date of elections," he said.

"Those who talk of having elections without according to the Constitution are people who don't want elections. They are hiding under the cover of elections to try and hang on to the office..."

Wickremesinghe said that the UNF is not prepared to bypass the Constitution under any circumstances.

"A legal Government can submit a motion to Parliament and if there is 2/3rd majority we can hold an election before the 4 1/2 year term of the current Parliament ends," he was quoted as saying by

He said the has already said that it is prepared to face early elections.

Wickremesinghe said that if everyone wants an early election there is no need for the UNF to oppose it.

Though Rajapaksa was made the prime minister in October, he has not been able to prove his majority in 225-member Parliament.

Ousted prime minister Wickremesinghe has the backing of 122 parliamentarians. Lawmakers of Wickeremesinghe's UNP, and last month filed a petition in the challenging Rajapaksa's authority as the prime minister. The final verdict is expected on December 14.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, December 04 2018. 20:20 IST