COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) -- Sri Lanka's bribery commission has summoned former President Mahinda Rajapaksa to question him over a complaint, prompting several lawmakers backing him to occupy Parliament overnight demanding the summons be withdrawn.
Rajapaksa told his supporters Tuesday that he has been asked to give a statement to the commission as to why he gave a ministerial position to a senior opposition leader who defected to support Rajapaksa's presidential campaign for the January election.
Rajapaksa's opponents had complained that giving a position rewarding a defection amounted to bribery.
Rajapaksa says however that he as president had the power to appoint a minister at any time.
Rajapaksa narrowly lost the presidency to his former health minister Maithripala Sirisena.
The lawmakers protesting in Parliament say the bribery allegation are political retribution.