Sri Lanka: President dissolves parliament; Ousted PM Wickresmsinghe’s UNP to challenge decision in SC

Colombo:

Sri Lanka’s ousted Prime Minister Ranil Wickresmsinghe’s United National Party (UNP) will challenge President Sirisena’s decision to dissolve parliament in country’s Supreme Court. The decision was reached after a parliamentary group meeting of UNP on Saturday. The party will file the case on Monday.

President Sirisena on Friday evening dissolved the parliament after the ruling coalition admitted that it did not have majority to form government headed by former President Mahinda Rajapaksa. According to reports the country is likely to hold elections in early January.

Earlier, President Sirisena had sworn-in ministers to the cabinet posts before announcing the dissolution.

President Sirisena appointed Rajapaksa as Prime Minister replacing Ranil Wickremsinghe two weeks ago and he was to prove his strength on the floor of the House on November 14.

A government spokesman had earlier said that the new government needs at least eight more votes in the 225 member assembly to reach the required 113 for majority adding that the government his confident to acquire majority numbers soon.

Meanwhile, Ranil Wickremsinghe’s UNP has called the dissolution of the parliament “illegal” and “against the constitution.”

UNP said in a statement, “We vehemently reject the President’s dissolution of Parliament. He has robbed the people of their rights and the Democracy that we have enjoyed.”

 

 

The UNP added that it will meet the Election Commission over the issue. “We will meet the Election Commissioner to discuss this illegal move by the President,” said UNP.

Reacting to the situation in Sri Lanka India had said recently that it is “closely following the recent political developments in Sri Lanka. As a democracy and a close friendly neighbour, we hope that democratic values and the constitutional process will be respected. We will continue to extend our developmental assistance to the friendly people of Sri Lanka.”

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