Sri Lanka Parliament votes against newly-appointed prime minister Mahinda Rajapaksa in landmark floor test.

In a major setback to President Maithripala Sirisena, the Sri Lankan Parliament on Wednesday voted against newly-appointed Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa’s government, PTI reported.

Parliament has approved a no-trust vote against Rajapaksa, speaker of Parliament Karu Jayasuriya announced in the House. “According to the voice, I recognise that the government has no majority,” Jayasuriya announced as Rajapaksa backers protested.

Sri Lanka had been in a political crisis since 26 October, when Sirisena suddenly fired Ranil Wickremesinghe as the prime minister and replaced him with former strongman Rajapaksa.

Amid mounting pressure from political opponents and foreign governments, including the United States and the European Union, to convene Parliament to end the impasse. However last Friday, he instead dissolved Parliament and called new elections in January. Opponents said Sirisena made the decision because Rajapaksa had been unable to assemble a majority.

The Supreme Court ruled Tuesday to suspend the president’s order until 7 December, after 13 political parties and individuals filed petitions with the court calling the dissolution unconstitutional. The Sri Lankan Supreme Court would hold the next hearing on 4 December.

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