What President Gotabaya Rajapaksa will do now with so many of his crew jumping ship is the million-dollar question now. Will he resign seeing the writing on the wall or will he hang on regardless of his growing unpopularity? Most political observers, who know his mindset expect him to stay put and fight!
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The beleaguered Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa revoked the Public Emergency late on April 5, following the defection of 42 MPs from the ruling coalition which had reduced the government’s majority in parliament to two. The government has to have at least 113 MPs in the House of 225. At the end of April 5, it had 114, a wafer thin majority, which it could lose any time.
Due to defecations from the ruling coalition, the “Independent group” in parliament has swelled to 42. The opposition comprises 68 MPs.
42 MPs had broken away from the ruling Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) coalition led by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa. They were responding to the popular demand that the President quit office, owning responsibility for the current economic crisis marked by sky rocketing prices and shortages of food, fuel and foreign exchange. Power cuts ranging from 5 to 13 hours per day had stretched the patience of Sri Lanka’s 21 million citizens.
Groups of people from various economic classes and age groups continued to gather at public places across the island to shout slogans and hold placards demanding the exit of the President and the Rajapaksas from the government. Two Rajapaksa brothers and two of their sons are Ministers, while sibling Gotabaya Rajapaksa is the Executive President with humongous powers.
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