Sri Lanka speaker asks Rajapaksa to prove majority

Sri Lanka speaker asks Rajapaksa to prove majority
Sri Lanka's newly appointed Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa (L) and Karu Jayasuriya, the Speaker of the Parliament. Photo: Reuters

Colombo: Sri Lanka's speaker of parliament said on Monday he would not accept a former president, Mahinda Rajapaksa, as the new prime minister until he proves he commands a majority in parliament.

President Maithripala Sirisena fired the sitting prime minister, Ranil Wickremesinghe, on October 26 and appointed Rajapaksa in his place, drawing criticism from political parties and the international community.

"The majority of the members are of the view that the changes done in the parliament are unconstitutional and against the traditions," the speaker of parliament, Karu Jayasuriya, said in a statement.

"Therefore, I am requested by the majority of the parliament to accept the position which was prior to these changes. Until the new group shows the majority, I will have to accept the status quo prior to the changes."