In Sri Lanka, the Supreme Court has rejected petitions challenging the date of general elections and the nullification gazette for dissolution of parliament. The unanimous decision came this afternoon after over two weeks of continuous hearing by a five -judge bench into a several Fundamental rights (FR) petitions pertaining to the general election.
The petitioners claimed that the gazette notification for parliament dissolution is unconstitutional as constitution mandates to convene the new Parliament no later than 3 months from the date dissolution, which did not happen in this case. President secretary and election commission were named respondents in the petitions and Attorney General representing the government had requested to dismiss the petitions.
Sri Lanka’s parliament was dissolved on March 2nd with polling declared for 25th April. However, the poll date had to be postponed due to COVID crisis. Earlier, the election commission has informed the Supreme Court that general election cannot be held on June 20, as scheduled because of the COVID outbreak in the country. Opposition parties and civil society groups had demanded reinstatement of old parliament but the government under President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has refused to do so. Election commission is expected to announce a new date of elections after the judgement. (AIR)