New Delhi: Sri Lankan former President Mahinda Rajapaksa will step down from the disputed position of premiership on Saturday, his son and legislator Namal Rajapaksa said in a tweet on Friday. Taking to micro-blogging site, Namal Rajapaksa said,”To ensure stability of the nation, former President Rajapaksa has decided to resign from the premiership on Saturday after an address to the nation.”
He added,”The Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna with former President, Sri Lanka Freedom Party and others will now work to form a broader political coalition with President Maithripala Sirisena.”
Earlier in the day, Sri Lanka’s Supreme Court upheld a court order restraining Rajapaksa from holding the office of Prime Minister until it fully heard the case next month.
The ruling came a day after the apex court unanimously declared that the dissolution of Parliament by President Maithripala Sirisena was “illegal”, in a body blow to the embattled leader, whose controversial decisions plunged the island nation into an unprecedented political turmoil.
Sri Lanka is going through a major political crisis since October 26 when President Maithripala Sirisena, in a controversial move, removed Wickremesinghe and installed ex-strongman Mahinda Rajapaksa in his place.
Parliamentarians of Wickremesinghe’s UNP, Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) and Tamil National Alliance on November 23 filed the petition in the Court of Appeal challenging Rajapaksa on continuing to hold the office of Prime Minister after a no-confidence motion was passed in Parliament against him.
Sirisena, after sacking Wickremesinghe on October 26, dissolved Parliament and called for a snap election on January 5. However, the Supreme Court overturned his decision and halted the preparations for snap polls.
(With inputs from agencies)