COLOMBO: Sri Lanka’s main political parties filed legal challenges in the country’s Supreme Court, against the early dissolution of parliament by President Maithripala Sirisena.
The parties which filed a Fundamental Rights petition included the United National Party led by sacked Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, the main opposition Tamil National Alliance, the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna, the Tamil Progressive Alliance and the All Ceylon Makkal Congress.
The petitioners said President Sirisena had no powers to dissolve the parliament under the 19th amendment of the constitution and requested the Supreme Court to issue an order voiding the gazette issued by the president and to suspend the upcoming parliamentary election until a verdict is announced.
The petition filed will be considered later on Monday by a three-judge Supreme Court bench including Chief Justice Nalin Perera.
President Sirisena, last Friday, signed a special gazette notification dissolving the parliament and declaring Jan. 5, 2019 as the date for a snap parliamentary election.
Sirisena’s sudden move to dissolve the parliament comes one and a half years ahead of the scheduled parliamentary polls.
The president said his decision to dissolve the parliament and call for a snap parliamentary poll was to avoid violence from erupting on the streets of the country and on the floor of the House, when the parliament would have convened on Nov.14.
The country has been in a political turmoil since Oct. 26 when the president surprisingly sacked his Prime Minister Wickremesinghe and appointed former president Mahinda Rajapakse to the post.