Colombo, Sri Lanka (CNN)Sri Lankan lawmakers have passed a no-confidence motion against the country's new Prime Minister, Mahinda Rajapaksa, declaring his appointment "void and invalid" amid raucous scenes in the country's Parliament.
Sri Lanka MPs pass no-confidence vote against new prime minister
Supporters of Rajapaksa refused to recognize the vote as legitimate, plunging the country deeper into crisis, as fears grow that the political dispute could spill into wider instability.
The move follows the shock decision last month by President Maithripala Sirisena to sack Ranil Wickremesinghe as prime minister, and replace him with controversial former strongman President Mahinda Rajapaksa. The announcement triggered protests and violence leaving one person dead.
Wickremesinghe denounced Sirisena's attempt to remove him from office and refused to leave the official prime minister's residence, claiming the president does not have the power to take such action.
Sirisena had attempted to prevent a vote of no-confidence by dissolving Parliament until December 7, however, on Tuesday, the Supreme Court overturned the president's controversial decision and ordered an interim order, paving the way for fresh elections.
In a move that showed that he was potentially softening his hard stance, Sirisena invited his ousted Prime Minister, Ranil Wickremesinghe, leaders of his party and those associated for talks Wednesday evening.
Spokesman Mahinda Samarasinghe declined to comment on the meeting, but told CNN: "The President will act constitutionally and within the framework of the law of the country."