Colombo: President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s ruling party, Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) on Tuesday lost its majority in Parliament as 42 MPs announced they would sit independently.
Among the 42 MPs, 14 are from Sri Lanka Freedom Party, 10 belong to constituent parties of the government, and 12 are SLPP MPs, among others, reports Xinhua news agency.
The ruling SLPP-led alliance won 146 seats in the 225-member Parliament in the 2020 general election.
Tuesday’s development comes amid an ongoing turmoil in the island nation due to the country’s worst ever economic crisis, triggering widespread anti-government protests.
On Monday night, Rajapaksa had said that he will not resign, but was ready to hand over the government to whichever party holds 113 seats in Parliament.
On Monday, he 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.
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, LPG, electricity and essential food and people are demanding Rajapaksa to give up power immediately.