Rajapaksa to resign as Sri Lanka’s prime minister, says lawmaker

Wickremesinghe reinstated as Sri Lanka prime minister

On Thursday, the Supreme Court said Mr Sirisena had acted illegally in November by dissolving parliament and calling snap polls with almost two years to go until elections were due.

Sirisena was largely supported by Wickremesinghe's UNP in the January 2015 presidential elections and their parties went on to form a coalition government but, in recent months, differences have emerged between the two sides.

Wickremesinghe refused to accept the sacking and challenged it in court and in Parliament. When Sirisena's decision was contested, he dissolved Parliament and called for a snap parliamentary election in January.

Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa has chose to resign from the Premiership in order to ensure stability of the country, according to MP Namal Rajapaksa.

Rajapaksa resigned after two crucial Supreme Court decisions made the embattled former strongman's efforts to cling to premiership untenable.

Rajapaksa and the members of the purported government filed the appeal against the Court of Appeal's interim injunction that restrained them from functioning in their respective posts.

The ministers of the new Cabinet will take oath on Monday, the Colombo Telegraph reported citing UNP sources.

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The country was taken by surprise when Sirisena sacked Wickremesinghe on October 26, nearly two years before his five-year term was up and called a snap election for January 5.

The announcement comes following a meeting of the UPFA parliamentary group under the patronage of President Sirisena and former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, at the Presidential Secretariat earlier today.

The country has been in political crisis since October, when Sirisena abruptly sacked then Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and replaced him with Rajapaksa.

A group of representatives from Mahinda's faction filed a motion yesterday that a full bench is not necessary to hear the Appeal filed by the former president.

"The President has agreed to swear in Ranil Wickremesinghe as Prime Minister tomorrow at 10 am", his United National Party's spokesman Harin Fernando told the BBC.

He also said that if Wickremesinghe is appointed Prime Minister again he will step down as President.

"Rajapaksa, appointed on October 26, will step down from office on Saturday after addressing the nation", Lakshman Abeywardena, a former minister, said. The Cabinet will consist of 30 members and include six Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) parliamentarians, it said.

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