UN urges Sri Lanka to reconvene parliament

The United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres had urged President Maithripala Sirisena to reconvene parliament and allow legislators to decide who the rightful Prime Minister is between Ranil Wickremesinghe and Mahinda Rajapaksa.

A statement from Antonio Guterres' office on Friday said the secretary-general called on President Sirisena "to revert to parliamentary procedures and allow the parliament to vote as soon as possible" during a phone conversation a day earlier.

The appeal came as Sri Lanka's political crisis further intensified  with legislators from the UNP accusing members of the Rajapaksa camp of offering them millions of dollars in bribes to switch support.

The current political crisis stemmed from October 26 when Sirisena fired Wickremesinghe in a shock move and replaced him with former President Mahinda Rajapaksa.

While some claim that the President has the power to appoint a new Prime Minister but under the 19th Amendment to the Constitution does not have the power to sack the incumbent Prime Minister, other claim he dos have the power.

The deposed prime minister denounced his sacking as illegal and demanded a vote in parliament to prove his majority.

Sirisena promptly suspended the 225-member House until November 16 in an apparent plan to allow Rajapaksa, who did not appear to have the majority required to remain in the post, to tempt legislators to his side.

In his phone conversation with Sirisena, Guterres also offered the president his help in facilitating talks between the two opposing sides.