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Rajapaksa - govt has no legitimacy to change constitution, call election

The former president and now opposition leader, Mahinda Rajapaksa urged the government to call a new parliamentary election, stating that it did not have the legitimacy to change the country's constitution. 

"There should be legitimacy prior to introducing a new constitution. We doubt if the present government has that legitimacy," Rajapaksa told the Constitutional Assembly.

"They lost the local government elections and is delaying the provincial council elections. It even went to court to prevent a parliamentary election," he said, suggesting that both main parties should put draft constitutions to the public for their mandate at the next parliamentary election. 

Rajapaksa and his supporters have previously accused the UNP of trying to 'divide' the country through a new constitution. This is despite the UNP repeatedly rejecting the idea of a federal state, which is what the Tamil National Alliance told the Tamil people it would be pushing for. 

"One community cannot suppress another community. All communities should arrive at a consensus," Rajapaksa added.

His comments came as his brother, Gotabhaya, hinted towards plans of running for president, and weeks after he was appointed prime minister by the current president, plunging the country into two months of political crisis.