Sri Lanka Oppn. to challenge dissolution of Parliament

High stakes legal battle in offing as parties will move Supreme Court next week A day after Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena controversially dissolved Parliament, parties opposed to the decision are preparing for a high stakes legal battle. Major parties on Saturday decided to move the Supreme Court early next week, challenging Mr. Sirisena’s decision that, they said, violated the Constitution. The United National Party (UNP) of the deposed Prime Minister, Ranil Wickremesinghe, and its coalition partners will mount a legal challenge, according to their members. The Sri LankaCongress (SLMC), which is part of the UNP-led front, is contemplating court action independent of the coalition as well, a senior member said. The All Ceylon Makkal Congress (ACMC) is also preparing to petition the Supreme Court on Monday. “This is not because we fear elections, but because we think the President’s actions are completely unconstitutional and against democratic values,” ACMC leader Rishad Bathiudeen told The Hindu . Further, the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) and the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP), which were part of the Opposition in the House that was dissolved, are readying to file petitions in the Supreme Court on Monday. ‘Statute contravened’ The TNA will seek an interim order suspending the President’s proclamation on the dissolution of Parliament and calling for general election, party sources said. Speaking to The Hindu on Saturday, Leader of the Opposition and TNA veteran R. Sampanthan said the action taken by the executive on Friday “contravened” the Constitution. “I don’t think it can be constitutionally supported,” Mr. Sampanthan said.

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