The Nineteenth Amendment, which was passed with just one Member of Parliament opposing it, reduced the term of Parliament to five years. Provisions that Supreme Court held required a Referendum were amended or dropped. Article 70 of the amended Constitution restricted the power of the President to dissolve Parliament. It now provides that “the President shall not dissolve Parliament until the expiration of a period of not less than four years and six months from the date appointed for its first meeting, unless Parliament requests the President to do so by a resolution passed by not less than two-thirds of the whole number of Members (including those not present), voting in its favour.” Thus, Parliament can now be dissolved by the President in the first four and a half of years of its term only if 150 Members of Parliament so request by a resolution passed in Parliament. The wording is clear and unambiguous.
Elections Commissions Chairman Mahinda Deshapriya is likely to wait for the Supreme Court’s opinion on the legality of the dissolution of Parliament before proceeding with preparations for a General Election, Colombo Telegraph learns……………
President Maithripala Sirisena has dissolved Parliament, a short while ago, in stark violation of the country’s constitution.
Sirisena, when he signed the gazette announcing the premature dissolution of the legislature, grossly violated the provisions of the 19th Amendment to the constitution – which he architected in April 2015.