Parliament to be dissolved tomorrow

Parliament of Sri Lanka

Speculation was rife that the eighth Parliament of Sri Lanka would be dissolved by midnight tomorrow for the country to go for fresh elections to elect a new Parliament.

According to Presidential Secretariat sources, the Gazette Extraordinary will be issued announcing the dissolution of the present Parliament at the end of the completion of four-and-a-half years in terms of the provisions of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution.

When the present Parliament is dissolved, the country will be run by a caretaker Government with Mahinda Rajapaksa as Prime Minister and the Cabinet of Ministers. All State Ministers and Deputy Ministers will thereby lose their posts.

Political parties and independent candidates contesting the general election will be given time to make their deposits until the last day of nominations.

If Parliament is dissolved on March 2 as speculated upon, General Elections will be held on or before April 25, and those eligible to cast postal votes, could apply before March 14. There will be no extension of this date, the Election Commission sources said.

The sources said that steps would be taken to invite all Assistant Commissioners of Elections for a meeting in Colombo on March 5.

In the event Parliament is dissolved, as speculated, at midnight on Monday, arrangements will be made to receive nominations from March 12-16. Election Commission Chairman Mahinda Deshapriya said.

According to him 271,789 more voters will be eligible to cast their votes at the forthcoming General Election bringing the total number of voters to nearly 16.3 million.

(Source: Sunday Observer)