Lanka parties to move SC against dissolution


Colombo, Nov.11:

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.

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