Sri Lanka MPs leave Gotabaya Rajapaksa-led coalition

More than 40 MPs have left Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s coalition government.

MPs from parties aligned with Mr Rajapaksa’s Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) led coalition said they would now independently represent themselves.

The move comes as the South Asian nation is grappling with power cuts and shortages because of an economic and foreign exchange crisis.

This has led to mass protests demanding Mr Rajapaksa’s resignation.

It is unclear what the implications of the MPs’ actions are at this point. They have distanced themselves from the government, but have not extended support to the opposition.

It could, however, call into question the prime minister’s authority over the parliament.

Mr Rajapaksa’s cabinet has already resigned, but both the president and his brother, Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, have so far refused to step down.

Instead, the president called on opposition parties to help him form a national government and accept cabinet portfolios.

They have all refused and have reiterated demands for him to resign.

“What the people want is for this president and the entire government to step down,” said Sajith Premadasa, leader of the Samagi Jana Balawegaya, Sri Lanka’s main opposition alliance.

On Tuesday, a freshly appointed finance minister also announced he was quitting the job, less than 24 hours after accepting the post.

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