The Sri Lankan Supreme Court on Thursday ruled that President Maithripala Sirisena’s decision to dissolve the Parliament 20 months before the end of its term was “unconstitutional”. A seven-member apex court bench said that the President cannot dissolve Parliament until it completes a four-and-a-half year term, the Colombo Gazette reported.
The ruling comes as a double blow to Sirisena a day after Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe proved his majority in Parliament, with 117 out of 225 lawmakers voting to pass a confidence motion in his leadership. Rajapaksa has so far failed to prove his majority in Parliament.
The island nation plunged into political crisis after Sirisena removed PM Wickremesinghe on October 26 and appointed former president Mahinda Rajapaksa in his place. When it appeared that Rajapaksa would not be able to muster the support of the majority in the Parliament, Sirisena dissolved the House on November 9 and called for a snap election on January 5.
As many as 13 petitions had been filed against Sirisena’s dissolution of the Parliament. However, in an interim order on November 13, the Supreme Court ruled Sirisena’s gazette notification as temporarily illegal and halted the preparations for snap polls.
Sirisena has said that he had always taken decisions in the best interest of the country and the people. He had also said that he would honour the court’s decision.