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Lanka parliament to debate political crisis

Press Trust of India  |  Colombo 

will debate on the ongoing political crisis in the country following the local in which former strongman new party registered a landslide victory, officials said.

Former new party Peoples Party (SLPP) defeated Sirisenas Freedom Party (SLFP) and the United National Party (UNP), winning 225 councils or two-thirds of the 340 councils which went to the polls on Saturday.

The UNP won only 41 councils while the SLFP was a distant third with just 11 in the first electoral test of the unity government headed by Sirisena.

swept the polls in a massive wave of support to the former strongman. Sirisenas SLFP suffered its worst drubbing with just 13 per cent of the vote.

Dinesh Gunawardena, the of the Joint Opposition in parliament moved in the House this morning that parliament must as an urgent matter discuss the ongoing crisis.

agreed to grant the three-hour debate which would mean an extension of the normal sitting hours.

The trio - Maithripala Sirisena, and Jayasuriya - met last night in long deliberations.

Sirisena was insistent on Wickremesinghe leaving the premiership while the stood his position, political sources said.

Jayasuriya who is also the of the told the that it was an internal issue for the UNP to make Wickremesinghe step down as the

Sirisena had planned to issue a gazette notification last night suspending the current sessions of parliament, presidential sources said.

The move the UNP supporters claimed was to prevent Wickremesinghe from proving his parliamentary majority to continue as

Sirisena had tried to garner the 113 required to appoint his own party man as prime minister but the move has fizzled out to due to lack of numbers.

Since the election results, Sirisena has worked for the ouster of Wickremesinghe. His members in the unity government with Wickremesinghe claimed that they could no longer continue with Wickremesinghe as the prime minister.

The countrys religious leaders and economists have urged the political leaders to end the impasse early and bring in stability after rupee hit a record low to the dollar taking a beating from the on going crisis.

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

First Published: Mon, February 19 2018. 16:21 IST