Lanka's new Cabinet to be sworn in on May 1
New Cabinet of Sri Lanka's unity government will be sworn in on Tuesday, President Maithripala Sirisena announced today, weeks after he had suspended Parliament in backdrop of ongoing political turmoil in country. Unity government of Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) and United National Party (UNP) was thrown into a crisis after ex-President Mahinda Rajapaksa's new party pulled-off a stunning victory in February's local elections.
Sirisena was forced to face a no-confidence vote
Earlier this month, Sirisena was forced to face a vote of no confidence in Parliament moved by Joint Opposition which has the backing of Rajapaksa. Ranil Wickremesinghe won the vote convincingly even after six members of unity government's Sirisena loyalists voted for his ouster. Wickremesinghe's party urged that those who voted against him need sacking from government. Hence, six ministers resigned.
Sirisena decided to prorogue Parliament
Sirisena, on April 12, made the decision to prorogue Parliament by virtue of powers vested in him by Article 70 of Constitution. Buoyed by the positive outcome of the local polls, the Rajapaksa camp now pushes for a snap parliamentary election ahead of the scheduled August 2020. However the next election due is the presidential election which must be called by November 2019.
Why Sri Lanka had plunged into political crisis?
The country had plunged into a political crisis after the unity government's parties lost the local council elections to Rajapaksa's Sri Lanka People's Front. Sirisena immediately urged the resignation of Wickremesinghe but he resisted. Sirisena in 2015 quit the then Rajapaksa government to join hands with Wickremesinghe, the then main opposition leader, to defeat Rajapaksa in the presidential election ending his nearly 10-year rule.