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* Sri Lanka's toppled PM requests President to act according to the constitution
Tue, Dec 4, 2018, 09:14 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Dec 04, Colombo: Sri Lanka's ousted Prime Minister and leader of the majority United National Party (UNP) Ranil Wickremesinghe today requested the President Maithripala Sirisena respect the sovereignty of the people and act according to the constitution.

"President can't decide this is what I want. It's a parliamentary government, parliament majority decides Prime Minister, Prime Minister determines ministers & they are all controlled by parliament," the ousted Premier said.

Speaking to Media at Temple Trees on Tuesday, the UNP Leader said his party is prepared to go for an election after establishing a legitimate government and that an election cannot be held while an illegal government is in power.

"We are not against an election. We cannot resist if all the parties are for an election. But our stance is to create a legitimate government before elections," he said.

He stressed that the Parliament is empowered to dissolve Parliament and the President receives that power only after the parliament passes four and a half years in its term. He asked the President not to be like Hitler.

"All we want is Constitution to be followed. This has been upheld in the recent decisions of the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeal. All of us in government has taken an oath to defend the Constitution. So we want them to defend the constitution and follow the constitution. Don't be like Hitler."

Wickremesinghe said some dictators in the past have used referendums and elections as a means of bypassing the Constitution. "We are not going to allow to bypass the Constitution," he added.

The UNP Leader said as far as elections are concerned two conditions should be met to facilitate the conduct of a General Election.

Wickremesinghe said first a lawful government must be formed according to the Constitution and all parties in Parliament must reach a consensus on the date of election.

"First it must be a lawful government. Only UNF and I can command that majority. Secondly, all the parties must agree. If all parties agree that there should be an election in 2019, then decide when the date should be," he said.

 

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