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Sri Lanka's President Sirisena moves to dissolve parliament

November 11, 2018 4:14 pm

President Maithripala Sirisena has moved to dissolve parliament amid a political crisis following his attempt to replace Sri Lanka’s prime minister.

The official notification, which took effect at midnight on Friday (17:30 GMT), would trigger a general election on 5 January.

However, it could be challenged in the Supreme Court.

The sacked prime minister’s party says the president does not have the power to take such action.

Last month, President Sirisena named former strongman leader Mahinda Rajapaksa as the new prime minister after sacking Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and his cabinet and suspending parliament.

But Mr Wickremesinghe has refused to leave, saying his sacking was illegitimate.

An MP from Mr Wickremesinghe’s United National Party (UNP) said the move to dissolve parliament was “illegal” and said he believed it would be rejected.