Sri Lanka’s PM Ranil Wickremesinghe faces no confidence vote on Wednesday

Sri Lanka’s PM Ranil Wickremesinghe faces no confidence vote on Wednesday

Sri Lankan lawmakers will today consider a motion of no confidence against Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe. The motion has been

Parliament

Photo: Government of Sri Lanka

Sri Lankan lawmakers will today consider a motion of no confidence against Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.

The motion has been tabled by the “Joint Opposition”, led by former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, and charges the PM with economic mismanagement and failure in handling the recent outbreak of anti-Muslim violence. More pragmatically, however, the motion likely seeks to take advantage of growing tensions between Wickremesinghe and President Maithripala Sirisena—who joined forces in 2015 to dispose Rajapaksa of the presidency—and weaken their ability to govern effectively.

Regardless, as Wickremesinghe’s United National Party holds 107 seats of the 225-seat parliament, the prime minister is expected to survive today’s motion with the support or abstention of the Tamil National Alliance, a minority party that possesses 16 seats.

Although Wickremesinghe will likely retain his position, expect today’s vote to sow chaos in Sri Lankan politics. With the prime minister and president at loggerheads, their ability to right an economy currently experiencing its slowest growth in 16 years and handle bubbling anti-Muslim sentiment is questionable.

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