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Sri Lanka’s ousted PM’s party to challenge Parliament’s dissolution

Sri Lanka’s ousted Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe’s party, the United National Party (UNP), said on Saturday it would file a case in the Supreme Court against the early dissolution of Parliament by President Maithripala Sirisena.

UNP Parliamentarian Mangala Samaraweera told journalists that the party would early next week file a challenge in the Supreme Court, calling the President’s decision to dissolve Parliament “illegal”, Xinhua news agency reported.

A group of UNP legislators on Saturday met Elections Commission Chairman Mahinda Deshapriya and discussed the dissolution of Parliament and urged him to take steps to “save democracy”.

Meanwhile, the main opposition Tamil National Alliance and the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna will also be filing cases in the Supreme Court against the dissolution of Parliament on Monday, their party spokespersons said.

Sirisena late on Friday signed a special gazette notification dissolving Parliament and declaring January 5 as the date for a snap parliamentary election.

The President said Parliament would stand dissolved from Saturday 12 a.m. and nominations for the parliamentary elections would be called from November 19-26.

Sirisena’s move to dissolve Parliament came one and a half years ahead of the scheduled parliamentary polls.

Sri Lanka has been facing political turmoil since October 26 when the President sacked Prime Minister Wickremesinghe and appointed former President Mahinda Rajapaksa to the post.

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