Speaker Karu Jayasuriya rules a majority of 225-member assembly supported motion against president's chosen Mahinda Rajapakse who was made prime minister on October 26 in place of Ranil Wickremesinghe.
Sri Lanka's parliament passed a motion of no-confidence in the controversially appointed government of Mahinda Rajapakse on Wednesday, a day after the Supreme Court overturned a presidential decree dissolving the legislature.
Speaker Karu Jayasuriya ruled that a majority of the 225-member assembly supported the motion against Rajapakse who was made prime minister on October 26 in place of Ranil Wickremesinghe.
The result does not automatically mean that Wickremesinghe, who had refused to leave the prime minister's residence, has won the constitutional showdown. Though his party is the biggest in parliament, President Maithripala Sirisena, who had backed Rajapakse, retains the power to choose the next prime minister.
Amid chaotic scenes, Rajapakse, 72, and his legislator son Namal walked out of the red-carpeted chamber just before the speaker called for a vote.
MPs loyal to Rajapakse attempted to grab the mace, the symbol of authority of the legislature, to disrupt the vote, but Jayasuriya went ahead.
"The ayes have it," the Speaker announced over his public address system "I rule that this House does not have confidence in the government (of Rajapakse)."
Several Rajapakse ministers came out of parliament accusing the speaker of violating parliamentary norms by holding the crucial vote against their wishes.
The island country has been locked in a power struggle since the president sacked prime minister Wickremesinghe on October 26 and replaced him with Rajapakse.
On Tuesday the Supreme Court overruled President Maithripala Sirisena's dissolution of parliament, and halted preparations for a snap election, in a major boost for the ousted prime minister.
Rajapakse's divided party
Rajapakse's party was divided Tuesday on facing a test in parliament.
His legislator son Namal Rajapakse said they will attend the legislature, but other party seniors said they would not.
Sirisena sacked the legislature after his party admitted that they did not have an absolute majority despite engineering the defections of eight legislators from Wickremesinghe's party.
Since then, at least two legislators have ditched Rajapakse and joined Wickremesinghe's UNP party which insists it has a comfortable majority in the House.
Wickremesinghe, who insists he is still the prime minister, has refused to vacate the official Temple Trees residence which is a symbol of state power in the island.
The power struggle has crippled the work of the administration, according to lawmakers on both sides.