Colombo: A Sri Lanka court on Monday denied Mahinda Rajapaksa the authority to act as Prime Minister, said reports.  The Court of Appeal in Sri Lanka issued an interim order restraining former strongman Rajapaksa and members of his purported government from functioning as the Prime Minister, Cabinet and deputy ministers. (Also read: President Asks MPs to Call For Another No-confidence Vote)

The court gave its order on a Writ of Quo Warranto filed by 122 MPs challenging the former President and his government’s continuation in office, Colombo Telegraph reported.

The court reportedly said that “irreparable damage” could be done to Sri Lanka if Rajapakse, whose controversial appointment as prime minister led to a political crisis, was allowed to remain as head of government. Sri Lanka has been in crisis since October 26 when the president sacked Ranil Wickremesinghe as prime minister and appointed Rajapaksa _ who was voted out twice by the Parliament last month but does not step down.

The court also served notice on respondents and directed them to show by what authority they hold office. The case will be taken up on December 12 and 13.

Meanwhile, Rajapaksa called for a snap parliamentary election and said it was the only way the country could solve the ongoing political instability.

In a statement released by his office, Rajapaksa invited all those who respected democracy to give a careful thought to holding a parliamentary election, as this would be the only way to end the present crisis, Xinhua news agency reported.

Sri Lanka has been embroiled in a political crisis since October 26 when President Maithripala Sirisena sacked Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and replaced him with Rajapaksa.

Rajapaksa’s party, the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna, organized a mass activity in Colombo on Monday afternoon with hundreds of people calling for a snap parliamentary poll. (With IANS)