Sri Lanka Supreme Court overturns dissolution of Parliament, halts snap elections

(COLOMBO, LANKAPUVATH) –Sri Lanka’s Supreme Court on Tuesday overruled dissolution of parliament by President Maithripala Sirisena and ordered to halt preparations for snap elections scheduled for January next year.

The Apex court issued an interim order staying operation of the Gazette proclamation issued by the President dissolving the Parliament until 7 December 2018.

The court granted leave to proceed for all the Fundamental Rights petitions heard and the case has been fixed for argument on the on the 5th, 6th and 7th of December 2018.

The court also ordered the independent Elections Commission to halt preparations for the snap election scheduled for January 5 next year.

The Supreme Court ruling means the parliament can be convened and a floor test can be taken to determine whether the President appointed Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa has a majority in the 225-member parliament.

Thirteen fundamental rights petitions were filed at the Supreme Court by political parties, and other individuals on Monday requesting the apex court to declare President Maithripala Sirisena’s order to dissolve parliament and call snap elections is in violation of the constitution and annul the order.

Political parties including United National Party (UNP), Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP), the Tamil National Alliance (TNA), Tamil Progressive Alliance (TPA) and the All Ceylon Makkal Congress (ACMC), Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) as well as civil society organization, the Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA), Attorney Aruna Laksiri and a member of Elections Commission Prof. S. R. H. Hoole have filed petitions.

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