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Sri Lanka parliament reconvenes, Speaker declares no majority for Rajapaksa

Developing Story:Updated 06:00 GMT

Photograph: @USAmbSLM

Sri Lanka’s parliamentary speaker Karu Jayasuria declared this morning that Mahinda Rajapaksa does not have a majority in parliament as prime minister, after a no-confidence motion was passed against Mahinda Rajapaksa amid chaotic scenes in parliament.

Speaker Jayasuriya ruled that a majority of 122 out of 225 MPs supported the no-confidence motion, AFP reported. 

Rajapaksa supporters rejected the ruling as the speaker made the declaration using a voice vote instead of a floor vote in parliamant. 

Ranil Wickremeshinghe declared Rajapaksa' government as illegal and called for full reinstatement of the pre-October 26 cabinet. He called on those challenging the voice vote to allow for a floor vote to take place.

Sri Lanka’s parliament reconvened this morning after the Supreme Court temporarily suspended an executive order by the president, Maithripala Sirisena to dissolve parliament.

International concern had been mounting over Sirisena’s decision to sack his cabinet, appoint Mahinda Rajapaksa as prime minster and dissolve parliament for snap elections.

Commenting from the observer’s box of Sri Lanka's parliamentary chambers US Ambassador to Sri Lanka Alaina Teplitz  said,

“Honoured to attend reconvening of Sri Lanka Parliament this morning to see democracy in action. Very lively but glad this institution is once again fulfilling constitutional role”

Footage from outside parliament showed supporters of both sides protesting, separated by a line of riot police, reports the Guardian.

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