World News

Sri Lanka's president dissolves Parliament, calls for an election

Sri Lanka's president dissolves Parliament, calls for an election

Sri Lanka will hold a snap election in January, the country's president announced late November 9, hours after dissolving parliament when it became clear his prime minister nominee did not have a majority.

The 225-seat parliament will end at midnight Friday and a new one will meet January 17 after a vote January 5, according to a presidential announcement. The party also accused Sirisena of robbing the "people of their rights and democracy".

Supporters of ousted Sri Lanka's Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe shout slogans as they gather at the prime minister's official residence in Colombo early November 10. Sirisena said he had to fire Wickremesinghe for mismanaging the economy and because of a Cabinet minister's alleged involvement in a plot to assassinate Sirisena.

"At the moment we have 104 or 105 MPs", UPFA's spokesman Keheliya Rambukwella told reporters, adding that the Sirisena-Rajapakse group hoped to secure support from "crossover" legislators. The European Union in Colombo on Thursday said that it was essential that parliament be allowed to demonstrate its confidence by voting immediately when reconvened in order to resolve the serious uncertainties now facing the country.

Former UNP Parliamentarian Rajitha Senaratne said that the UNP and the United National Front (UNF) will form a broad coalition to contest the election.

Sirisena had claimed on Monday he had the support of 113 legislators when he sacked Wickremesinghe.

More news: Macron’s proposal for European Union army ‘very insulting’

"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, told the party's central committee meeting on Thursday.

He said the UNP will expect the Elections Commissioner to seek the intervention of the Supreme Court against the illegal actions of the President.

Under pressure from the United Nations, United States and the European Union to allow a parliament vote, Sirisena agreed three times to lift the suspension but changed his mind each time.

The EU said on Friday, before the dissolution, that the crisis had scarred the Indian Ocean island's global reputation.

The power struggle on the island of 21 million people has paralysed much of the administration, according to legislators on both sides of the dispute.


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