Oppn. to challenge Parliament dissolution
“It was a follow-up action to the executive’s earlier actions — removing the prime minister, appointing a new prime minister and proroguing parliament. None of those can be constitutionally backed,” Mr. Sampanthan said.
The President’s move to dissolve Parliament, he said, was to do with “the inability” of the “purported new Prime Minister” to show majority in the House. “It was meant to serve a collateral and ulterior purpose,” he added.
Even as President Sirisena’s decision is being legally disputed, newly sworn-in Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa and his supporters have welcomed early polls that will establish “the will of the people”.
JVP's national organiser and parliamentarian Bimal Rathnayake told that while the party had been gearing up for elections since last year, “what we need is not just any election. We need a free and fair election. In the current circumstances, that is ruled out.”
Pointing to President Sirisena “violating the Constitution in broad daylight”, he said the Sirisena-Rajapaksa camp was keen on going to polls “only to legitimise all its illegal moves and recent
appointments to the new cabinet.” The TNA also said it recognised the democratic spirit of elections but questioned the validity of polls being held in the wake of “unconstitutional” moves.
“Say they conduct elections and get an outcome they don’t like. How can we be sure they won’t dissolve Parliament again?” asked TNA legislator and senior lawyer M.A. Sumanthiran.
Role of poll panel
All eyes were on the Election Commission on Saturday, to see if the poll watchdog would independently seek the Supreme Court’s opinion on the matter. Following a meeting of its three commissioners, sources told that one of them was of the view that “there was no vacancy in Parliament” and hence the question of holding polls did not arise.
The remaining two, however, had underscored the need to follow the President’s gazette notification and had reportedly asked the Commissioner General to begin preparatory work for the scheduled polls. On seeking the court’s opinion, a source familiar with the discussion said: “The Commission will give its input if it is named as a party [by any other petitioner].