SL top court overturns Sirisena's decision to dissolve parliament

Updated: Nov 14, 2018, 08:53 IST | Agencies | Colombo

Sri Lanka's Supreme Court delivered its verdict after two days of deliberations on as many as 13 petitions against and five for President Maithripala Sirisena's decision to dissolve Parliament

(From left) Ousted Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and President Maithripala Sirisena. Pic/AFP
(From left) Ousted Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and President Maithripala Sirisena. Pic/AFP

In a major boost to sacked Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, the Supreme Court in a landmark ruling on Tuesday overturned President Maithripala Sirisena's controversial decision to dissolve Parliament and halted the preparations for snap polls on January 5.

The apex court's decision deepened the political crisis in the island nation after president Sirisena fired his coalition prime minister Wickremesinghe on October 26 and installed former strongman Mahinda Rajapaksa as the new premier. A three-member apex court bench, including country's chief justice Nalin Perera, delivered its verdict after two days of deliberations on as many as 13 petitions against and five for Sirisena's November 9 decision to dissolve Parliament.

The apex court said Sirisena's dissolution of Parliament will be suspended until December 7 and it will consider all the petitions filed on the President's decision next month before giving a final ruling. The ruling means Parliament can be convened and a floor test can be taken to determine whether the President appointed Prime Minister Rajapaksa has a majority in the 225-member parliament.

After the court verdict, Speaker Karu Jayasuriya summoned parliament's session for Wednesday. "The Speaker hereby informs you that parliament would be convened at 10 am tomorrow November 14. All honourable members of parliament are hereby informed to attend the session," a release from Jayasuriya's office said.

Why the parliament was dissolved
Sirisena dissolved Parliament last week, almost 20 months before its term was to end, and ordered snap election on January 5, plunging the country's into a constitutional crises. He did so after ivt became clear that he lacked support from lawmakers to install Rajapaksa as the new PM following his sacking of Wickremesinghe as PM.

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