Colombo, Dec 13 (newsin.asia) – Sri Lanka’s Supreme Court, on Thursday, ruled against President Maithripala Sirisena’s decision to dissolve Parliament and conduct a snap Parliamentary Election in early January.
A seven judge bench headed by Chief Justice Nalin Perera, delivered the verdict saying the President’s decision was unconstitutional with Chief Justice Perera further explaining that if the President wants to dissolve Parliament before four and a half years, there must be a resolution passed in Parliament with a two thirds majority.
According to Sri Lanka’s constitution, President Sirisena, without a two thirds Parliamentary majority cannot dissolve Parliament for four and a half years since Parliament, first sat on Sept 1, 2015 following the Parliamentary Election in Aug. 2015.
The Supreme Court verdict means parliamentary elections will be held as scheduled after February 2020, after it has completed its full four and a half years.
Following the ruling, ousted Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe in a statement on his official twitter account called on President Sirisena to respect the judgement while his party, the United National Party said they hope to meet President Sirisena later on Thursday to discuss the court’s ruling.
Namal Rajapaksa, a lawmaker from the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna, a party loyal to challenged Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa said his party respected the court’s decision but they would continue their call for a parliamentary election in order to end the ongoing political struggle.
There was no immediate comment from President Sirisena.
Sri Lanka has been facing a severe political turmoil when on Oct 26, President Sirisena sacked his cabinet and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and appointed former president Mahinda Rajapaksa to the post.
Sirisena later appointed a new caretaker government but following increasing protests from Wickremesinghe and his UNP, who called their sudden dismissal from cabinet unconstitutional, President Sirisena, on Nov 10 dissolved Parliament calling for a snap parliamentary election in January.
The election, which was announced one and a half years ahead of schedule, was challenged in the Supreme Court by opposition lawmakers who said the President did not have powers to call for an early poll.