The Speaker
Thursday, 18 April 2024 – 22:05

Has Sri Lanka’s President Broke The Law In A Bid For Power?

President Maithripala Sirisena of Sri Lanka is moving to dissolve parliament after his failed attempt to replace Sri Lanka’s prime minister, causing a political crisis.

President Sirisena gave the official notice to parliament, which has already taken effect from Friday, 17:30 (GMT). The closing of parliament in Sri Lanka could all play into the Presidents hands, as Sri Lankan laws now call of another general election to be called, giving the opportunity for the replacement of the, now sacked, prime minister of Sri Lanka.

Is Maithripala Sirisena’s action illegal?

The Supreme Court could appeal the case, however, without a formed parliamentary group, to could cause more friction between the parliamentary parties.

The prime minister’s party argue that the president should not, and does not, have the power to dissolve parliament. In comparison, the dissolving of parliament was the only right of the ruling monarch, as royal prerogative.

Does a president have the right to have prerogative over parliament?

What has actually happened?

This last October, President Sirisena called for the removal of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and his cabinet and effectively close parliament, in order to replace Ranil with Mahinda Rajapaksa, a former ‘strongman’ leader.

Wickremesinghe has refused to leave his position, calling out President Sirisena to using ‘illegitimate’ power.

Ajith Perera, a party representative and MP told the BBC; “We are requesting the election commission to solve this issue peacefully without creating a bloodbath in the country”.

Will the president therefore trigger a snap election? Who will win?

This friction has come after the pair of politicians had recently clashed in cabinet over their ideology for plans to lease a port in India.

As the ejected prime minister debates the legality of his removal from office, Mr Rajapaksa has sworn in a new cabinet and made himself finance minister. Almost in a show of nepotism, Mr Wickremesinghe gave the four MP’s who gave their support to his cause, ministerial portfolio, in order to win support in parliament.

Two men now claim to run the state. With violence ensuing, more tension over the political rights of the president is becoming a deathly pursuit.

The international community has been playing attention to the political rivalry; China has congratulated Mr Rajapaksa, while India, the EU and US have called for the constitution to be respected.

Who do you think will win the race for parliament?

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