Oppn. to chal­lenge Par­lia­ment dis­so­lu­tion

The Hindu - - NEWS -

“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

The Hindu

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].

The Hindu

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