PM Ranil questions dissolution of Parliament

Ranil Wickremesinghe, who was reinstated as Prime Minister on Sunday, pointed to the constitutional provision prohibiting the dissolution of Parliament prior to the completion of four and half years of its term. ‘In national interest’ Defending his earlier actions sacking Parliament and calling for snap polls — which the Supreme Court declared illegal last week — President Maithripala Sirisena said he believed that the decision of 155 lakh voters would be more acceptable than that of 122 MPs. “I took all the decisions in the interest of the country alone,” he said, apparently unwilling to back down from his earlier stance. The media was barred from covering the “swearing-in” ceremony held at the Presidential Secretariat, and only a few lawmakers from Mr. Wickremesinghe’s front were present, sources said. Referring to the President’s decision to dissolve Parliament and call snap polls, Mr. Wickremesinghe said, “It can only be done on a resolution passed by two-thirds majority in Parliament. This Constitutional violation cannot be rectified by way of an election.” The lingering friction between the leaders is likely to be amplified when a new Cabinet is formed on Monday, sources said, with some members from Mr. Sirisena’s faction reportedly seeking ministerial positions.

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