Sri Lanka power struggle: President Sirisena dissolves Parliament

Sri Lanka power struggle: President Sirisena dissolves Parliament

Maithripala Sirisena said in a proclamation that a new parliament will be convened on January 17 after conducting the nation-wide vote on January 5. Sirisena was hoping to get Rajapaksas support for a second term in Presidency.

According to reports, Parliamentary elections are likely to take place in January.

President Sirisena has signed an official notification dismissing the 225-member assembly with effect from midnight, clearing the way for a snap election almost two years ahead of schedule.

Wickremesinghe's United National Party (UNP) denounced the move in a post on Twitter, saying it "vehemently rejects" the sacking of the parliament.

Dayasiri Jayasekara, a cabinet minister, told Al Jazeera that Sirisena had no choice but to dissolve parliament because of Wickremesinghe's refusal to step down.

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Sirisena's United People's Freedom Alliance (UPFA), which had the backing of 96 legislators prior to the crisis, has managed to woo at least nine legislators to switch support in the past two weeks. The UPFA is eight legislators short of a majority in the Parliament.

"Dissolving parliament at this time is illegal and goes against the constitution", JVP general secretary Tilvin Silva told reporters.

Wickremesinghe, who has not left the Temple Trees residence since his sacking, maintains that the action against him was unconstitutional and illegal, and insists his group can muster a majority. However, on November 1, he lifted the suspension after coming under severe criticism.

The EU said on Friday, before the dissolution, that the crisis had scarred the Indian Ocean island's worldwide reputation. Rajapaksa is the former president of Sri Lanka.

"You have not let this country be plunged into the darkness of dictatorship".

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