The newly re-elected president of Sri Lanka, Mahinda Rajapaksa, has dissolved parliament. The Official Government News Portal of Sri Lanka issued a statement saying: “The Parliament was dissolved midnight yesterday (09 Feb) by President Mahinda Rajapaksa under the powers vested in him under Article 70 of the Constitution and in pursuance of the provisions of Section 10 of the Parliamentary Elections Act no. 1 of 1981. The new Parliament is scheduled to meet on April 22, 2010”.
The term of the Sri Lankan parliament was due to end in April anyway. So, while this is a dissolution, it only brings forward the date of the election by a couple of months. However, given President Rajapaksa’s recent re-election, presumably he calculates that he needs to elect a parliament on his coat-tails as soon as possible.
Meanwhile, President Rajapaksa’s main rival at the recent presidential election, former general Sarath Fonseka, has been arrested.