UN expresses concern over Lankan President's decision to dissolve Parliament
UN chief Antonio Guterres has expressed concern over Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena's decision to dissolve the nation's Parliament, underlining the "utmost importance" of respecting democratic processes and resolving differences in accordance with the rule of law. Sri Lanka's political crisis deepened Friday as President Sirisena dissolved the Parliament and announced snap polls on January 5. Here's more.
Sirisena dissolved Parliament after it became evident that he did not have enough support in the House for Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, who was appointed by him under controversial circumstances. The UN Secretary-General "learned with concern" Sirisena's decision to dissolve Sri Lanka's Parliament and move to new parliamentary elections, a statement issued yesterday by Secretary-General Guterres's Deputy Spokesman Farhan Haq said.
Guterres underlined the utmost importance of respecting democratic processes and renewed his call on the Lankan Government to ensure peace and safety for all the countrymen and uphold its commitments to human rights, justice and reconciliation. Sri Lanka was plunged into a political crisis after Sirisena sacked Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe on October 26 and replaced him with former President Rajapaksa.
Wickremesinghe, who dubbed the move as a "constitutional coup", has refused to vacate his official residence, saying he is the lawful prime minister and that the president has no constitutional right to replace him. The Resident Coordinator in Sri Lanka Hanaa Singer last month met the Speaker of Parliament Karu Jayasuriya stressing Guterres's message for the need to respect democratic values and constitutional provisions.
President Sirisena signed a Gazette notification to dissolve the nation's Parliament. According to the Gazette notice, nominations to contest the snap election would be taken between November 19-26. The election will be held January 5 and the new Parliament would be convened on January 17. Sirisena issued the Gazette noticing the Parliament stands dissolved some 21 months ahead of its schedule in August 2020.