Sri Lankan Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa on Sunday called for snap parliamentary elections to end the ongoing political crisis in the country. He claimed a general election is the only way to restore political stability, Daily Mirror reported.
The nation has been in a state of political turmoil since President Maithripala Sirisena ousted Ranil Wickremesinghe as prime minister and replaced him with former President Rajapaksa on October 26.
The president had also suspended Parliament till November 16 to prevent a vote from being held. Though Sirisena later lifted the suspension and said the Parliament would reconvene on November 14, he dissolved it again and called snap elections.
On November 11, the Sri Lankan Supreme Court issued a stay order against the dissolution. Subsequently, Rajapaksa’s government lost two trust motions in Parliament.
“It is only in Sri Lanka that you will find political parties agitating against the holding of a general election that has already been declared,” Rajapaksa said in a statement. “The manner in which the people exercise their sovereignty is through the franchise. I invite all those who respect democracy to give careful thought to these matters.”
Meanwhile, Wickremesinghe said the legislature has the power to take measures to restore stability in the country. “It is Parliament which exercises people’s sovereignty on behalf of them,” the United National Party leader said. “Therefore all important decisions have to be made by the House. Therefore the Executive is also bound to implement what is decided by Parliament.”
Sirisena and the United National Party-led United National Front alliance are scheduled to meet to discuss possible solutions to the crisis later on Monday, according to the Daily Mirror.