Sri Lanka President Maithripala Sirisena on Friday dissolved Parliament and announced snap polls in early January 2019. The sudden decision came after it became evident that he did not have enough support in the House for Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa.
The dissolution of Parliament comes days after Ranil Wickremesinghe was sacked as Prime Minister and replaced by former President Mahinda Rajapaksa.
On Friday, the strength of Sirisena and Rajapaksa’s coalition in Parliament stood at 106, seven short of the simple majority mark. Rajapaksa was to prove his strength on the floor of the House on November 14.
In a statement, Wickremesinghe’s United National Party (UNP) said “We vehemently reject the dissolution of Parliament. He has robbed the people of their rights”.
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Following the announcement, Mr. Wickremesinghe’s United National Party (UNP) convened an “emergency meeting”. “We are certainly challenging this in court,” senior UNP politician Mangala Samaraweera told The Hindu daily.
Meanwhile, United States today said it was tracking the situation “very closely” after Sri Lanka President Maithripala Sirisena dissolved Parliament. The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, was responding to a question on the latest development in Sri Lanka. He expressed concern over Colombo’s external debt situation.