Sri Lanka President dissolves Parliament amidst crisis
COLOMBO: Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena on Friday dissolved Parliament, paving the way for an early general election in the country which is grappling with unprecedented political crisis after the surprise sacking of Ranil Wickremesinghe as Prime Minister and replacing him with Mahinda Rajapaksa.
Sirisena dissolved the Parliament after his United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) announced that it did not have the necessary numbers to get Rajapaksa through the legislature.
Sirisena signed an official notification dismissing the 225-member assembly well ahead of its August 2020 term expiry, state television reported on Friday.
Wickremesinghe, meanwhile, continues to claim that 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.
Parliament speaker Karu Jayasuriya on Monday slammed Sirisena’s “unconstitutional and undemocratic” actions to sack Prime Minister Wickremesinghe and suspend Parliament, saying he will not recognise Rajapaksa as the new premier unless he wins a floor test, which is to take place on November 14.
Rajapaksa remains short of the ‘magic number’ 113 required to prove his majority in parliament. With eight United National Party (UNP) and one Tamil National Alliance (TNA) legislators defecting to the Rajapaksa camp, the former president was hopeful of passing the floor test.
Sirisena had previously suspended the Parliament till November 16, but lifted it on November 1, after coming under severe criticism.
Rajapaksa had replaced Wickremsinghe last month