Sri Lankan Opposition Tables No-Confidence Motions Against Gov't, President

© AP Photo / Eranga JayawardenaЧлены оппозиционной политической партии Шри-Ланки "Национальная народная власть" выкрикивают антиправительственные лозунги во время митинга протеста в Коломбо
Члены оппозиционной политической партии Шри-Ланки Национальная народная власть выкрикивают антиправительственные лозунги во время митинга протеста в Коломбо - Sputnik International, 1920, 04.05.2022
NEW DELHI (Sputnik) - Sri Lanka's main opposition party Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB, United People's Power) has submitted to the speaker of the parliament two motions of no confidence against the government and President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, the party said on social media.
"We made these decisions yesterday at the parliamentary group meeting. We also had a dialogue with several independent lawmakers. We informed them that the Samagi Jana Balawegaya is not ready to support an interim government as long as President Gotabaya Rajapaksa remains in office," the General Secretary of the SJB Ranjith Madduma Bandara told reporters on Tuesday.
Another member of the Sri Lankan parliament from the SJB, Harshana Rajakaruna, said that the party decided to nominate Imthiaz Bakeer Markar, the country's former minister of housing and telecommunications, as deputy speaker. The lawmaker noted that the opposition party will ask the speaker to call for a debate on a vote of no confidence on Thursday.
"We'll make that request to see who will vote on the motions," the lawmaker said.
Sri Lanka is experiencing a grave political crisis spurred by the country's worst economic crisis since gaining independence in 1948. The dire economic situation was caused by shortages of foreign currency as tourist flows dried up during the COVID-19 pandemic, preventing the country from purchasing enough fuel. The pandemic has also negatively impacted remittances from Sri Lankans working abroad. There is an acute shortage of food and basic necessities, including fuel and gas, with many parts of the island nation facing continuous power blackouts.
In light of the crisis, the opposition called for the president and the prime minister to resign. In turn, they formed an interim government, which the opposition refused to join.
When protests swept across Sri Lanka, Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa proposed constitutional amendments to create a new administration, while President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, reluctant to dismiss his older brother, said he is ready to form an all-party interim government if the parties manage to secure a majority of 133 votes in the 225-seat parliament.
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