Lankan leader to convene parliament next week

The EU is worried about Mahinda Rajapakse returning to power

"I assured him that the appointment of the new Prime Minister has been done in keeping with the Constitution of Sri Lanka", President Sirisena tweeted after his phone conversation.

Wickremesinghe says his dismissal was illegal as he commands a greater majority in parliament than Mahinda Rajapakse, the former strongman president controversially installed in his place.

The UN chief offered assistance in facilitating a dialogue with all the parties to resolve the situation.

Parliamentarians, including ousted Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, have urged for an urgent parliamentary session, to identify which party held the majority in the House.

Critics say the suspension of Parliament was meant to give Rajapaksa time to gather enough support to survive a no-confidence vote when lawmakers reconvene November 14.

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The nation of 21-million has been gripped by constitutional turmoil since President Maithripala Sirisena sacked his former ally, prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, and his cabinet on October 26.

Wickremesinghe said in an interview with The Associated Press last week that there is credible evidence that Rajapaksa's party is attempting to buy support in Parliament.

President Sirisena is the leader of the UPFA.

Rajapaksa led Sri Lanka to a military defeat of Tamil separatist guerrillas in 2009 but has since faced widespread allegations of human rights abuse and targeting of Tamil civilians.

On Saturday, the Tamil National Alliance -an ethnic minority Tamil party- said that it will support a no-confidence motion to be brought against Rajapaksa, after one lawmaker from their party joined Rajapaksa's government.

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Among the causes for the animosity between Wickremesinghe and Sirisena is Wickremesinghe's refusal to back the president's bid to stand in the next election in late 2019.

On the other hand, China, which invested billions of dollars during Rajapaksa's presidency, has called for non-interference and said Sri Lanka could tackle its own problems.

In almost nine decades of universal adult suffrage in Sri Lanka, Asia's oldest democracy has been no stranger to insurgency, civil war, assassinations and suicide bombers.

Asked what his next step would be if Parliament is not convened before 16 November, Wickremesinghe said that they had a plan in mind and would implement it.

"The Chinese were giving the loans and had been given the first option".

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