- Government loses majority in parliament
- Finance minister quits one day after appointment
- Shares rise after events in parliament
- Opposition demands president, prime minister quit
COLOMBO, April 5 (Reuters) – At least 41 Sri Lankan lawmakers walked out of the ruling coalition on Tuesday, leaving the government of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa in a minority in parliament as it struggles with the country’s worst economic crisis in decades.
In another setback for the administration, Finance Minister Ali Sabry resigned a day after his appointment and ahead of crucial talks scheduled with the International Monetary Fund for a loan programme.
Rajapaksa dissolved his cabinet on Monday and sought to form a unity government as public unrest surged over the ruling family’s handling of the debt-heavy economy that has led to shortages of food, fuel and medicines and prolonged power cuts.
Possible next steps could be the appointment of a new prime minister replacing the president’s elder brother, Mahinda Rajapaksa, or snap parliamentary elections much ahead of a scheduled vote in 2025.