Sri Lanka Pres­i­dent dis­solves Par­lia­ment amidst cri­sis

Mid Day - - World -

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

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