Insight Online News
Colombo, Aug 17 : A Sri Lankan opposition leader has alleged that President Ranil Wickremesinghe was under “tremendous pressure” from the SLPP party to give up power to dissolve Parliament, which many want to happen so that people can elected a new federal legislature.
Samagi Jana Balavegaya (SJB) lawmaker Nalin Bandara Jayamaha made the allegation, saying the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) of former President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and his brothers did not want to face early elections, the Island newspaper reported on Wednesday.
Jayamaha said the SLPP wanted the provision, pertaining to dissolution of Parliament in the 19A of the Constitution, included in the 22nd amendment.
In terms of the 19th Amendment enacted in 2015, the President cannot dissolve Parliament until the completion of four and a half years of the term of a government. The last parliamentary election was held in August 2020 and it put the SLPP in power.
But the SLPP has lost much of its clout and support base in the wake of Sri Lanka’s worst economic crisis since independence in 1948. Mass protests against the economic mess forced former President Gotabaya Rajapaksa to flee the country last month.
His two brothers — former Prime Minister and former President Mahinda Rajapaksa and former Minister and former SLPP strongman Basil Rajapaksa — have been barred from leaving Sri Lanka by a court.