Lanka’s President chaired a security council meeting today attended by Chief of Defense Staff, tri-forces commander and the IGP
COLOMBO (Nov 13, 2018): Sri Lanka’s Supreme Court on Tuesday overruled President Maithripala Sirisena’s dissolution of parliament and ordered a halt to preparations for snap elections next year.
The Indian Ocean island has been gripped by a constitutional crisis since Sirisena sacked prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe on October 26 and replaced him with former strongman president Mahinda Rajapakse.
Wickremesinghe’s party led the petitions against the dissolution and the three-judge bench, headed by the Chief Justice Nalin Perera, read out the decision to a packed court guarded by hundreds of heavily armed police and commandos.
The court suspended a proclamation issued by Sirisena on Friday sacking the legislature and calling for elections on January 5.
The ruling means parliament could go ahead with a vote to test if Sirisena’s controversial nominee is able to summon a majority in the 225-member assembly and force Wickremesinghe from office.
The court also ordered the independent Elections Commission to halt preparations for the January 5 vote.
The Speaker has convened Parliament tomorrow (14 November 2018).
The 225-member parliament is expected to go ahead with a vote to test if Rajapaksa is able to summon a majority in the legislature.
“I will go to parliament tomorrow and we will show we are the legitimate government of Sri Lanka,” Wickremesinghe said at the Temple Trees residence.
For its part, Rajapaksa’s party said they will appeal to a fuller bench of the highest court in the land to reconsider Tuesday’s decision.
The former president’s son, a lawmaker, took to Twitter to deny speculation that his father was planning to step down and avoid facing a vote in parliament.
Meanwhile, according to reports, the President chaired a security council meeting attended by Chief of Defense Staff, tri-forces commander and the IGP.