A Sri Lankan woman walks past a notice board covered with posters carrying portraits of President Maithripala Sirisena and newly appointed Prime Minster Mahinda Rajapaksa at a street in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Sunday, Oct. 28, 2018.
A Sri Lankan woman walks past a notice board covered with posters carrying portraits of President Maithripala Sirisena and newly appointed Prime Minster Mahinda Rajapaksa at a street in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Sunday, Oct. 28, 2018.

Sri Lanka's speaker of parliament said he cannot accept Mahinda Rajapaksa, the country's former president and strongman, as the new prime minister. 

Karu Jayasuriya said Rajapaksa needs to prove he commands a majority in parliament. 

"The majority of the members are of the view that the changes done in the parliament are unconstitutional and against the traditions," Jayasuriya said in a statement. 

"Therefore, I am requested by the majority of the parliament to accept the position which was prior to these changes. Until the new group shows the majority, I will have to accept the status quo prior to the changes."

Sri Lankan Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa waves
Sri Lankan Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa waves after assuming duties as finance minister in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Oct. 31, 2018.

President Maithripala Sirisena sacked Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and his entire cabinet last month and appointed Rajapaksa prime minister. The next day, Sirisena suspended parliament until November 16. Thursday, in an apparent nod to international pressure to resolve the political crisis, Sirisena moved the date of the recall to November 5. Analysts believe he suspended parliament to give Rajapaksa time to garner enough support to survive a no-confidence vote. 

Sirisena said he fired Wickremesinghe after an informant told police that a Cabinet minister was part of a plot to assassinate him. He did not reveal the minister's name. 

Child Marriage