Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena dissolved Parliament on Friday evening, AFP reported quoting an unidentified minister. Sirisena’s action came hours after his party, United People’s Freedom Alliance admitted that it does not have the numbers to enable newly-appointed Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa to win a confidence vote in Parliament.
Sirisena signed an official notification dismissing the 225-member assembly and setting the stage for snap elections two years ahead of schedule, AFP reported. “The election is likely to be held in early January,” the minister said.
Earlier on Friday, United People’s Freedom Alliance spokesperson Keheliya Rambukwella told reporters that Rajapaksa needs at least eight more votes in the 225-member assembly to reach the majority mark of 113. He claimed that the party will need “crossover” legislators so Rajapaksa’s dispensation can reach the majority mark.
On October 26, Sirisena appointed Mahinda Rajapaksa the prime minister after sacking Ranil Wickremesinghe. The next day, Sirisena suspended Parliament till November 16. On November 2, the president lifted the suspension of Parliament. Later, he announced that Parliament will reconvene on November 14.