Sri Lanka: Rajapaksa calls for fresh elections

Colombo: Sri Lankan Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa here on Sunday said that it is imperative to conduct general elections in the country in order to restore democracy and put an end to the
ongoing political crisis.

The statement from Rajapaksa comes after he failed to prove majority twice in the Sri Lankan parliament.

Colombo Page quoted a statement released by the Prime Minister’s Office, which said, “According to the country’s constitution, sovereign power is vested with the people, not the parliament and emphasized that this power is being implemented through universal suffrage.”

“The only way to restore stability to a destabilized democracy will be through a general election. If things had gone accordingly stability would soon have been restored to this country,” the statement added.

Prime Minister Rajapaksa in his statement further underlined that elections were called early whenever it became necessary for the state to overcome situations of political turbulence.

Sri Lanka has been reeling from a turbulent political crisis for almost a month, when President Maithripala Sirisena on October 26 abruptly sacked then-Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and installed the now-ousted Mahinda Rajapaksa, the country’s former President, as the new premier.

Sirisena later dissolved Parliament, almost 20 months before its term was to end, and ordered snap election. The Supreme Court overturned Sirisena’s decision to dissolve Parliament and halted the preparations for snap polls. The court will hear more arguments and would deliver a verdict next month.

Both Wickremesinghe and Rajapaksa claim to be the prime ministers. Wickremesinghe says his dismissal is invalid because he still holds a majority in the 225-member Parliament.