Colombo, November 18 (AIR): As Gotabaya Rajapaksa was sworn in as Sri Lankan President on Monday, discussions on dissolving Parliament and holding fresh elections have begun.
The Leader of the opposition and Gotabaya’s elder brother Mahinda Rajapaksa has said that with Gotabaya’s victory in the Presidential election, it is best to hold a parliamentary election as soon as possible.
The former President said that work cannot commence as the President is from one party while the cabinet, including the Prime Minister, is from another.
He said that the mandate of the people should be respected.
Sources in the Gotabaya’s Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) said they are having discussions with United National Party (UNP) to reach a consensus on dissolving the House.
As per the constitution, parliament cannot be dissolved till February next year unless the House passes a resolution to this effect with two-thirds majority.
Meanwhile, a meeting of UNP parliamentary group under Prime Minister Ranil Wickremsinghe failed to arrive at a decision on this issue in its meeting held today.
There were reports of heated exchanges between MPs loyal to him and to Sajith Premadasa, who lost the Presidential Election held on November 16.
Earlier, President Gotabaya Rajapakasa said that he will follow a neutral foreign policy and stay out of any conflict with world powers.
Gotabaya was sworn in as seventh President of Sri Lanka at a ceremony in Anuradhapura this morning. Speaking after the ceremony, the new President said he knew that the response to his request to the Tamil and Muslim community to join in his victory was less than expected.
However, as the new President, he had invited all to work together with him for the future prosperity of the country as true Sri Lankans. He also promised a technocratic and meritocratic system with no place for corruption.
(The featured image at the top shows Gotabaya Rajapaksa being sworn in in Anuradhapura)