Mahinda Rajapaksa Did Not Sign No Confidence Motion Against Prime Minister Because a Vote Will Only Help Ranil Wickremesinghe to Prove His Majority in Parliament

A faction of Sri Lanka’s ruling coalition Wednesday submitted a no-confidence resolution against Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, but without sufficient support to topple him.

The long-delayed resolution was handed to Speaker Karu Jayasuriya with 55 members of parliament backing it. However, former president Mahinda Rajapaksa did not sign the resolution.

Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) junior ministers T. B. Ekanayake, Nishantha Mutuhettigama and Susantha Punchinilame supported the resolution, probably unaware that the entire government stands dissolved if the premier is toppled.

However, there was no immediate danger to Prime Minister Wickremesinghe as the Rajapaksa-faction of the SLFP had failed to muster the mandatory 113 votes for the resolution to succeed.

The former president told his confidants last week that he did not back the move against Wickremesinghe because that would only give him an opportunity to demonstrate his majority in parliament.