Sri Lanka: Gotabaya dissolves Parliament, calls snap polls on April 25

Gotabaya had previously said he wanted a 2/3 majority in the 225-member House

mahinda gotabaya file (File) Sri Lankan PM Mahinda Rajapaksa with President Gotabaya Rajapaksa

Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa on Monday dissolved Parliament six months ahead of schedule and called a snap election on April 25.

Gotabaya signed the gazette notification dissolving Parliament from midnight on Monday, the Government Printers Department said.

The current Parliament was appointed on September 1, 2015.

Gotabaya dissolved Parliament after the minimum term of four-and-a-half years necessary to dissolve it was completed on midnight Sunday.

According to the notification, elections will be held on April 25 and the new Parliament will have its first session on May 14.

The political parties and independent candidates can file nominations to contest the poll between March 12 and 19.

Over 16.2 million voters are eligible to vote to elect 196 members under proportional representation and a further 29 members on national cumulative votes of each party based on proportional representation.

President Gotabaya, who named his elder brother and former president, Mahinda Rajapaksa, as the prime minister of the caretaker cabinet in December, earlier said he wanted two-thirds of the seats in the 225-member Parliament. The opposition commanded a majority in the just-dissolved Parliament.

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