In an historic decision, the Sri Lankan Supreme Court rules that the President’s dissolution of parliament was illegal

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This follows on from my post on November 29th.

The Sri Lankan Supreme Court has just ruled unanimously that President Sirisena acted illegally when he dissolved Parliament and called early elections.

The Supreme Court confirmed the constitutional position, which is that the President can only call elections four and a half years after the last ones, or with the support of a two-thirds majority of Parliament.

In late October, President Sirisena also dismissed Prime Minister Wickremesinghe and replaced him with Mahinda Rajapaksa. However, Parliament twice passed motions of no confidence in Rajapaksa. For good measure, yesterday they passed a motion of confidence in Wickremesignhe as Prime Minister. Parliament has also voted to cut off funding to “Prime Minister” Rajapaksa and the cabinet he has chosen.

Without delay, President Sirisena needs to abide by the Supreme Court ruling and reinstate Prime Minister Wickremesinghe or another Prime Minister who enjoys the majority support of Parliament.

Any other course by the President will lead Sri Lanka down a very dark path. Tourism has started to grow in the country in the last few years. Many people see it as one of the most beautiful places in the world. I can’t see people continuing to flock to Sri Lanka if it has a President who is playing fast and loose with the constitution, with all the civil unrest that implies.

* Paul Walter is a Liberal Democrat activist. He is one of the Liberal Democrat Voice team. He blogs at Liberal Burblings.

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