Sri Lanka president to dissolve parliament prematurely, warns MP

By Athula Vithanage

Failing to obtain the majority necessary to endorse the extra parliamentary appointment of Mahinda Rajapaksa as Sri Lanka’s prime minister, the country’s president is likely to dissolve parliament prematurely, warns a lawmaker.

A senior parliamentarian representing the United National Party (UNP) with a majority in parliament says that the president is planning to dissolve the parliament on the night of November 7 “in a second coup”.

“In a move to save his face from an embarrassing defeat when parliament reconvenes on 14 November and violating the constitution president plans to dissolve the parliament as soon as possible, most probably tonight,” said Attorney at law Ajith P Perera.

He was speaking following a cross party meeting with the speaker of the House.


On 26 October President Maithripala Sirisena suspended parliament and appointed Rajapaksa as prime minister, in a move widely condemned as illegal, while Ranil Wickremesinghe refused to step down from the PM post.

The appointment must be authorized by majority vote in parliament.

Several Parliamentarians have revealed compelling evidence of the president’s party seniors offering millions in bribes to UNP members to cross over.

The president’s authority to dissolve parliament had been curtailed by an amendment to the constitution, adopted after President Sirisena assumed office on a mandate to do away with executive powers.


The 19th amendment adopted on 15 May 2015 says;

“(1) The President may by Proclamation, summon, prorogue and dissolve Parliament: Provided that the President shall not dissolve Parliament until the expiration of a period of not less than four years and six months from the date appointed for its first meeting, unless Parliament requests the President to do so by a resolution passed by not less than two-thirds of the whole number of Members (including those not present), voting in its favour .”

The president has no authority to dissolve the current parliament that came to office August 2015, cannot be dissolved until February 2020, points out UNP MP Ajith Perera.

President cannot dissolve Parliament unless 150 MPs seek its dissolution, confirms another MP.

“This is not his kingdom and we are not his subjects. President has to work within the Constitution. It is not toilet paper for presidential waste matter,” tweeted UNP parliamentarian, Harsha de Silva.

President Sirisena has vowed to carry on with his choice of government led by Mahinda Rajapaksa at any cost.

“Whatever forces oppose me, threaten me or put pressure on me, I will carry on with this decision without taking a step back,”  he told a public rally on Monday (5), called to garner support for his actions.

However, the Government Information Department has rejected the warning as false information spread by an organised group.

A media release issued by the Director General of Government Information Nalaka Kaluwewa said that the claims are false and baseless.☐ 




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