BY Dinitha Rathnayake
Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa sent his letter of resignation to President Gotabaya Rajapaksa yesterday (9) after violent scenes were witnessed in Colombo.
Speaking to The Morning, Prime Minister’s Secretary Rohan Weliwita confirmed that the letter was sent to the President yesterday evening.
In the letter addressed to the President, Premier Rajapaksa noted that the ongoing situation is crucial to the country, adding that the country is facing many issues.
“According to the request made by the President at the Cabinet of Ministers meeting held on 6 May in support of forming a new Government, I hand over this letter,” the letter stated.
His resignation comes in the midst of calls by the public for the Prime Minister to step down over the failed economy of the country.
The protestors are also calling for Gotabaya Rajapaksa to resign from the post of the President over the prevailing crises in Sri Lanka.
Mahinda Rajapaksa, in his letter, said that he is stepping down to pave the way for the all party Interim Government to be formed.
Meanwhile, with the resignation of Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, the Constitution dictates that the entire Cabinet will now stand dissolved.
According to the Constitution: “On the Prime Minister ceasing to hold office by removal, resignation or otherwise, except during the period intervening between the dissolution of the Parliament and the conclusion of the General Election, the Cabinet of Ministers shall, unless the President has in the exercise of his powers under Article 70, dissolved the Parliament, stand dissolved and the President shall appoint a Prime Minister, Ministers of the Cabinet of Ministers, other Ministers and Deputy Ministers in terms of Articles 43, 44, 45 and 46: Provided that if after the Prime Minister so ceases to hold office, the Parliament is dissolved, the Cabinet of Ministers shall continue to function with the other Ministers of the Cabinet as its Members, until the conclusion of the General Election.
“The President may appoint one such Minister to exercise, perform and discharge or may himself exercise, perform and discharge the powers, duties, and functions of the Prime Minister, and the provisions of Article 48 shall, mutatis mutandis, apply. If the Parliament rejects the Statement of Government Policy or the Appropriation Bill or passes a vote of no confidence in the Government, the Cabinet of Ministers shall stand dissolved, and the President shall, unless he has in the exercise of his powers under Article 70, dissolved the Parliament, appoint a Prime Minister, Ministers of the Cabinet of Ministers, other Ministers and Deputy Ministers in terms of Articles 43, 44, 45, and 46.”
Minister of Health Prof. Channa Jayasumana also resigned yesterday, prior to the announcement of the resignation of the Prime Minister.
MR’s parting shot of violence at the Galle Face Prime Minister leaves office only after almost setting the country on fire