Sri Lankan President sets Jan 5 for parliamentary polls

Colombo: Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena has signed a special gazette notification dissolving parliament and declaring January 5, 2019, as the date for a snap parliamentary election.

The President said late Friday that parliament would stand dissolved from Saturday 12 a.m. and nominations for the parliamentary elections would be called from November 19 to 26, reports Xinhua news agency.

He further set January 17, 2019 as the new date for the new parliament to convene.

Sirisena’s move to dissolve the parliament comes one and a half years ahead of the scheduled parliamentary polls.

The pPesident sacked Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and appointed former president Mahinda Rajapakse to the post on October 26.

Sirisena made the move after his United People’s Freedom Alliance quit the national unity government which it had formed with Wickremesinghe’s United National Party.

New Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapakse late Friday welcomed the President’s decision to dissolve parliament, saying a parliamentary election “will truly establish the will of the people and make way for a stable country”.