Sri Lankan court to hear petition challenging Rajapaksa's premiership on Friday
A seven-member bench will hear on Friday a case challenging the authority of controversially appointed Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa who has lost two no-confidence motions, amidst the deepening political crisis in Sri Lanka that has crippled the government for more than a month.
Sri Lanka's Court of Appeal on Monday fixed for support on November 30 the petition challenging Rajapaksa's premiership, Colombo Page reported.
The island nation is witnessing a political crisis since President Maithripapala Sirisena's controversial move to sack prime minister Ranil Wickeremesinghe and install Rajapaksa in his place on October 26.
Sirisena later dissolved Parliament, almost 20 months before its term was to end, and ordered snap election. The Supreme Court overturned Sirisena's decision to dissolve Parliament and halted the preparations for snap polls.
Both Wickremesinghe and Rajapaksa claim to be the prime ministers. Wickremesinghe says his dismissal is invalid because he still holds a majority in the 225-member Parliament.
As many as 122 parliamentarians of Wickeremesinghe's United National Party, Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) and Tamil National Alliance last Friday filed a petition in the Court of Appeal challenging Rajapaksa's authority as the prime minister, the paper said.
Chief Justice Nalin Perera appointed the seven judge bench which decided to take up the petition for consideration on November 30 and December 03.
The bench also requested the attorneys representing the petitioners to provide the relevant documents to the respondents' party before the trial date.
The petitioners say Prime Minister Rajapaksa has no support from the parliamentary majority and the Speaker has confirmed that. They claim that according to the 13th Amendment of the Constitution Rajapaksa is not legally entitled to hold the top post.
Therefore, the petitioners have requested the Court of Appeal to rule that Rajapaksa was not entitled to hold the office of Prime Minister in accordance with the Constitution and issue an order annulling his appointment.
Rajapaksa and 48 others have been named as respondents of the petition.
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