Major parties on Saturday decided to move the Supreme Court early next week, challenging President . Sirisena’s decision to dissolve the Parliament that, they said, violated the Constitution.
All eyes were on the Election Commission on Saturday, to see if the poll watchdog would independently seek the Supreme Court’s opinion on the matter. Following a meeting of its three commissioners, sources said that one of them was of the view that “there was no vacancy in Parliament” and hence the question of holding polls did not arise.
The remaining two, however, had underscored the need to follow the President’s gazette notification and had reportedly asked the Commissioner General to begin preparatory work for the scheduled polls. On seeking the court’s opinion, a source familiar with the discussion said: “The Commission will give its input if it is named as a party [by any other petitioner].The United National Party (UNP) of the deposed Prime Minister, Ranil Wickremesinghe, and its coalition partners will mount a legal challenge, according to their members.
The Sri LankaMuslim Congress (SLMC), which is part of the UNP-led front, is contemplating court action independent of the coalition as well, a senior member said. The All Ceylon Makkal Congress (ACMC) is also preparing to petition the Supreme Court on Monday. “This is not because we fear elections, but because we think the President’s actions are completely unconstitutional and against democratic values,” ACMC leader Rishad Bathiudeen told The Hindu.
Further, the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) and the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP), which were part of the Opposition in the House that was dissolved, are readying to file petitions in the Supreme Court on Monday.The TNA will seek an interim order suspending the President’s proclamation on the dissolution of Parliament and calling for general election, party sources said.
Leader of the Opposition and TNA veteran R. Sampanthan said the action taken by the executive on Friday “contravened” the Constitution.The President’s move to dissolve Parliament, he said, was to do with “the inability” of the “purported new Prime Minister” to show majority in the House. “It was meant to serve a collateral and ulterior purpose,” he added.