Conflicts & War

Sri Lankan opposition threatens to impeach president over ongoing crisis

New Delhi, Apr 8 (EFE).- The alliance of opposition parties in Sri Lanka, Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB), threatened Friday to launch impeachment proceedings against President Gotabaya Rajapaksa over the current economic crisis in the country that has triggered protests and led to the desertion of ministers and lawmakers.

“If you don’t leave, we will impeach!,” SJB leader Sajith Premadasa said in reference to the president during a parliamentary sitting to examine a recent report by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on the state of the Sri Lankan economy.

Premadasa criticized the contentious 20th constitutional amendment passed in 2020, which gave the head of state extraordinary powers, dissolving an earlier amendment under the previous legislature to limit those capabilities.

“20th Amendment has created a Super-Executive President. The Executive Presidency needs to be abolished. NOW,” said Premadasa, according to a tweet by SJB.

Sri Lanka is mired in a political and economic crisis, with spiraling inflation and shortages of fuel, food and power supply.

Last Sunday, all the ministers of the Rajapaksa government resigned en masse, forcing the president to appoint four ministers to ensure the minimum functioning of the government.

However, the newly appointed head of finance, Ali Sabry, announced his resignation after a day in office.

On Tuesday, 42 legislators of the ruling coalition said they would stop supporting Rajapaksa, leaving the government on the verge of losing its majority in the unicameral parliament.

Amid the political crisis in the island nation, protests continue to take place in different parts of the country demanding Rajapaksa’s resignation.

Sri Lanka is facing an unprecedented economic crisis triggered by the country’s huge foreign debt, economic recession during the pandemic and a drastic drop in tourism activity.

The situation was aggravated by an excess of money printing and the consequent depreciation of the national currency, promoted by the government for public spending. EFE


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