Allow Sri Lanka parliament to vote

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UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has voiced concern over the ongoing political crisis in Sri Lanka, urging President Maithripala Sirisena to revert to parliamentary procedures and allow Parliament to vote "as soon as possible".

Wickremesinghe told The Associated Press on Friday that members of the newly formed government under Marinda Rajapaksa have offered lawmakers positions and money in exchange for their support.

Sirisena was health minister in Rajapaksa's Cabinet and the second-in-command of his party before defecting to run as the opposition candidate in a presidential election called two years ahead of schedule.

Sirisena has suspended Parliament in the meantime, but if enough MPs endorse Rajapaksa when it reconvenes, the president may pull off what his opponents are calling a constitutional coup. "You have a responsibility to prevent Sri Lanka from being plunged further into a moral and ethical political abyss", the Movement for Democracy said. When neither major party received a clear majority in parliamentary elections, Sirisena's party signed an agreement with Ranil Wickremesinghe's party to form a unity government. He argued that he can not be legally removed from office until he loses the support from Parliament, and asked for a vote as evidence to prove he had majority support.

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The minority Sri Lanka Muslim Congress party, which has seven lawmakers, said its members had also rejected offers to join the Sirisena-Rajapakse camp. He is credited with ending a 25-year civil war. While India has enjoyed the status of being Sri Lanka's main economic partner for most part of its independent history and shares strong cultural and historical bonds, China is fast catching up and even overtook New Delhi as Colombo's largest trading partner in 2017.

In remarks broadcast on state television, Rajapaksa told a meeting at his office that Sirisena chose to summon Parliament on November 5. On Tuesday, thousands of Sri Lankans protested in the capital demanding Sirisena immediately convene Parliament.

Parliament speaker Karu Jayasuriya has called a meeting for next Wednesday. Wickremesinghe was sacked by President Sirisena on October 26. Parliament will be reconvened on the 5th of November.

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