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* Sri Lanka President dissolves parliament - reports
Fri, Nov 9, 2018, 10:53 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Nov 09, Colombo: Sri Lanka President Maithripala Sirisena is reported to have dissolved the parliament with effect from midnight Friday after plunging the country into a political crisis two weeks ago.

The Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa has told BBC Sinhala Service that the President had dissolved the 225-member Parliament of Sri Lanka with immediate effect.

He also has said that the special gazette notification relating to the dissolution of parliament signed by the President has been sent to the Government Printer.

The President created the political crisis when he unconstitutionally ousted the Prime Minister, Ranil Wickremesinghe on October 26 and appointed former president Mahinda Rajapaksa as the Prime Minister of the United People's Freedom Alliance (UPFA) government.

When Wickremesinghe refused to leave the post and demanded a vote in parliament to prove that he has a majority support in the House, the President prorogued the legislature until November 16 to allow the new Prime Minister to lure the MPs to his side with cabinet posts.

Under pressure from the local as well as international organizations including the United Nations, European Union and Western governments, the President decided to reconvene the parliament on November 14, just two days ahead of the scheduled date.

However, earlier Friday, Keheliya Rambukwella spokesperson for the United People's Freedom Alliance (UPFA) -led de facto government acknowledged that the party remained short of the 113 MPs needed to prove majority in the 225-member parliament. "At the moment we have 105 to 106 MPs," he told reporters.

The dissolution of parliament after failing to secure enough support from opposition parties clears the way for a snap election nearly two years ahead of schedule.

The new elections are likely to be held in early January, two years earlier than originally planned, a government minister told the AFP news agency.

 

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