Sri Lanka: No snap poll, says pres­i­dent

Hindustan Times (Ranchi) - - World - Press Trust of In­dia let­ters@hin­dus­tan­times.com ■

COLOMBO: Pres­i­dent Maithri­pala Sirisena has de­cided that there will be no snap elec­tions or a na­tional ref­er­en­dum to end the cur­rent po­lit­i­cal and con­sti­tu­tional cri­sis in Sri Lanka, ac­cord­ing to his close aide.

“No, no there won’t be a dis­so­lu­tion of par­lia­ment or a ref­er­en­dum,” Ro­hana Lak­sh­man Piyadasa, the gen­eral sec­re­tary of Pres­i­dent Sirisena’s Sri Lanka Free­dom Party (SLFP), said dur­ing the party’s cen­tral com­mit­tee meet­ing late on Thurs­day night.

Piyadasa was scotch­ing rumours that Sirisena may opt for a snap poll with a dis­so­lu­tion of par­lia­ment well ahead of its Au­gust 2020 term ex­piry.

The is­land was plunged into a po­lit­i­cal cri­sis af­ter Sirisena sacked Prime Min­is­ter Ranil Wick­remesinghe and re­placed him with his ri­val Mahinda Ra­japaksa.

Wick­remesinghe, how­ever, claims he is still the legally ap­pointed prime min­is­ter. His re­quest for a floor test to prove his ma­jor­ity in the House has been turned down and Sirisena has sus­pended par­lia­ment till Novem­ber 14 - a move be­lieved to al­low Ra­japaksa muster the 113 seats re­quired in the 225-mem­ber House.

Par­lia­ment Speaker Karu Jaya­suriya wants a floor test to take place on Novem­ber 14.

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