SL President Gotabaya Rajapaksa says he won't resign

Colombo: Amid the ongoing political upheavel in Sri Lanka triggered by the massive economic crisis, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has said that he will not resign, but is ready to hand over the government to whichever party holds 113 seats in Parliament.

On Monday, Rajapaksa held back-to-back political meetings amidst public protests throughout the nation, calling on the President and government to resign, reports the Daily Mirror newspaper.

Voting will take place when Parliament convenes on Tuesday to see which party holds 113 seats or above.

The President's Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) SLPP is now trying to hold on to its 113 seats so that it can continue in the government even with a simple majority, while Mahinda Rajapaksa remains the Prime Minister.

If the government fails to show its numbers then a proposal will be made to the Speaker to call for a debate to see who would be the new Prime Minister and as President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has decided, the government will be handed over to the new party.

Meanwhile, the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP), the main coalition partner the SLPP, announced that all 14 lawmakers would leave the government and stand independent.

Gotabaya Rajapaksa, a former Defence Secretary in his brother Mahinda Rajapaksa's government, played a crucial role to end 26-year-long war against Tamil rebel Tigers. At the 2019 Presidential election, he was elected President with a sweeping 2/3 majority with over 6.9 million votes.

Lack of dollar reserves and depreciation forced economic crisis lead to severe shortages of fuel, LP gas, electricity and essential food and people are demanding Rajapaksa to give up power immediately.

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