Nov 09, Colombo: The United National Party (UNP) says the dissolution of Sri Lanka Parliament by the President Maithripala Sirisena today nearly two years before its term expires is illegal and goes against the constitution.
"We vehemently reject the President's dissolution of Parliament. We will be fighting this to ensure that Democracy reigns supreme in the country. He has robbed the people of their rights and the Democracy that we have enjoyed," the UNP said.
Speaking to the BBC Sinhala service UNP MP Ajith P. Perera said, "The decision of the President is illegal and we call upon the Independent Election Commission to not accept an illegal order."
"We call upon the election commission to solve this problem without bloodshed," he added.
Constitutional experts have told the BBC Sinhala Service on Friday that under the 19th Amendment the President has no authority to dissolve Parliament until four and half years after it was elected.
Under the 19th Amendment, the Article 70 of the Constitution has been amended that
"(1) The President may by Proclamation, summon, prorogue and dissolve Parliament:
Provided that the President shall not dissolve Parliament until the expiration of a period of not less than four years and six months from the date appointed for its first meeting, unless Parliament requests the President to do so by a resolution passed by not less than two-thirds of the whole number of Members (including those not present), voting in its favour.."
But the opinion of the former Chief Justice Sarath N. Silva and several other lawyers is that the President has such a power.