Colombo, Nov 10: Two weeks after he sacked alliance partner Ranil Wickremesinghe as the prime minister of Sri Lanka, President Maithripala Sirisena on Friday, November 9, dissolved the parliament as well and the island-nation is now headed for a snap poll on January 5. The move by Sirisena to dissolve the parliament deepened the prevailing political crisis further as it was said that it was in stark violation of the constitution.
Those against the move said the president has no constitutional power to dissolve the parliament before four-and-half-years' time is completed in a term, as laid down under the constitution's19th Amendment. Sri Lanka last had a presidential election in January 2015 and the parliament was still not four years old. What is even more striking is that Sirisena himself was instrumental behind the 19th Amendment, which was to curb the president's extreme powers.
Sri Lanka's Elections Commission chairman Mahinda Deshapriya, meanwhile, told the media that he would wait for the Supreme Court's take on the legality of the dissolution of the parliament before going ahead with the poll preparation, Colombo Telegraph reported.
Deshapriya said the commission was not in a position to hold the poll when the parliament is dissolved in ways that are not legal, the Colombo Telegraph report added.
On October 26, Sirisena suddenly sacked Wickremesinghe and replaced him with former president Mahinda Rajpaksa, his old foe, as the prime minister.