Mahinda Rajapaksa finally resigns as the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka

New Delhi, News24 Bureau, Dec 15: Mahinda Rajapaksa resigned as Sri Lanka's Prime Minister on Saturday, news agency PTI reported.Rajapaksa, 73, was appointed as the prime minister on October 26 by President Maithripala Sirisena in a controversial move after sacking Ranil Wickremesinghe, which plunged the island nation into a constitutional crisis.On Friday, the apex court refused to stay a court order restraining Rajapaksa, 73, from holding the office of Prime Minister until it fully heard the case next month.Mahinda Rajapaksa, who was appointed prime minister in a controversial move, resigned on December 15. His son had announced this shortly after the Supreme Court refused to stay a court order restrained the embattled former strongman from holding the office until it fully heard the case next month.Rajapaksa was appointed as the premier on October 26 by President Maithripala Sirisena after sacking Ranil Wickremesinghe, plunging the nation into a constitutional crisis."To ensure stability of the nation, Former President @PresRajapaksa has decided to resign from the Premiership tomorrow after an address to the nation," Rajapaksa's son Namal tweeted.The Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) with former president, Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) and others will "now work to form a broader political coalition with President Sirisena", Namal, who is also a lawmaker, added.The apex court's latest ruling came a day after it unanimously declared that the dissolution of Parliament by President Maithripala Sirisena was "illegal", in a body blow to the embattled leader, whose controversial decisions plunged the island nation into an unprecedented political turmoil.The Supreme Court decided that a Court of Appeal order issued against the appointment of Rajapaksa as Prime Minister and against his Cabinet from holding office will stand.UNF Parliamentarian Ajith Perera said the President must now appoint Ranil Wickremesinghe as Prime Minister.Parliamentarians of Wickremesinghe's UNP, Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) and Tamil National Alliance on November 23 filed the petition in the Court of Appeal challenging Rajapaksa on continuing to hold the office of Prime Minister after a no-confidence motion was passed in Parliament against him.Sirisena, after sacking Wickremesinghe, dissolved Parliament and called for a snap election on January 5.However, the Supreme Court overturned his decision and halted the preparations for snap polls.

With Agencies