Sri Lanka's PM to appeal against court verdict on suspension of gov't

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COLOMBO, Dec. 4 (Xinhua) -- Sri Lanka's Prime Minister, Mahinda Rajapaksa, will file a legal appeal against a court verdict, which has temporarily halted him and his government from holding public office, a statement said here Tuesday.

Rajapaksa in the statement said he and his party did not agree with an interim stay order issued by the Court of Appeal on Monday, which prevented Rajapaksa and his party members from acting as prime minister and the government till the case is heard on Dec. 12.

"We wish to emphasize the fact that the interpretation of the Constitution, and making final determinations in that regard, is exclusively vested in the Supreme Court by the Constitution," Rajapaksa said.

"The struggle to establish political stability in this country through the holding of a Parliamentary Election needs the support of the people more than ever at this moment," he added.

A Court of Appeal on Tuesday issued its order after 122 parliamentarians filed a petition challenging Rajapaksa and his government from holding office after they were defeated in two no confidence motions in Parliament.

The court has also issued notices to the 49 government ministers and Rajapaksa to appear before the court on Dec. 12 for the hearing.

Sri Lanka has been embroiled in a political turmoil since President Maithripala Sirisena surprisingly sacked Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, and appointed former president Rajapaksa as the prime minister as well as a new caretaker government in late October.

Since his appointment, Rajapaksa and his government have faced two no confidence motions.

Sirisena has rejected the results of the two votes, saying they were not conducted in a legal manner and has requested Parliament to call for a vote again on Dec. 5.

Rajapaksa and his party have boycotted Parliament sessions since last month, saying that Speaker Karu Jayasuriya was acting in favor of Wickremesinghe and his party.

They also said they would continue to boycott sessions untill they are recognized as the government. Enditem

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