November 15th, 2018

State media: Sri Lanka president dissolves Parliament


By The Associated Press on November 9, 2018.

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka – Sri Lanka’s state media said Friday that President Maithripala Sirisena has dissolved Parliament amid a deepening political crisis.

State television network Rupavahini said Sirisena signed a notification announcing the dissolution of Parliament effective at midnight Friday. The notification has been sent to the government printer, according to the report.

The notice will become official once it’s published, and it is required to include dates for nominations for fresh elections. The law requires nominations be called between 10 and 17 days from the time of the announcement of an election, and the polls are required to be taken between the fifth and eighth week from the day nomination closes.

Sri Lanka has been in a political crisis since Oct. 26, when Sirisena fired his prime minister, Ranil Wickremesinghe, and replaced him with former strongman Mahinda Rajapaksa.

Wickremesinghe has insisted his firing is unconstitutional and has refused to vacate his official residence. He also has demanded that Parliament be summoned to prove his majority.

There were calls both locally and internationally to convene Parliament to end the impasse.

Sirisena maintained his choice for prime minister, Mahinda Rajapaksa, had a majority in Parliament, but the decision to dissolve Parliament shows that is not so.

Wickremesinghe’s camp is likely to contest Sirisena’s move because of constitutional provisions stating that the Parliament can’t be dissolved until four and a half years after its inception. The current Parliament was elected in August 2015.

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