Monday, 22 October 2018

Sri Lankan president suspends parliament

Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena

COLOMBO: Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena suspended parliament until next month in a shock move amid a deepening power struggle between him and his unity government’s prime minister.

The official statement said that president had halted parliament’s meetings with effect from  Thursday midnight under article 70 of the constitution.

The move, which will remain effective until May 8, came hours after at least 16 Sirisena loyalists, including six cabinet ministers said that threatened to leave the troubled coalition.

Relations between the rival groups in the unity government have soured after both suffered losses in February’s local council elections.

In recent weeks, Sirisena has reduced the powers of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, removing from his control the central bank, the policy-making National Operations Room and several other institutions.

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