President Maithripala Sirisena has dissolved Parliament with effect from midnight today (June 26). The gazette notification in this regard, which has been signed by the President, has already been sent to the Government Printer.
Accordingly, the country’s next General Election will take place on August 17, which will be a Monday. Nominations for the election will be accepted from July 6 to July 15. A new Parliament is set to convene on September 1.
It has been reported that the dissolution has been prompted by the ‘ungovernability’ produced by the Opposition’s multiple no-confidence motions and disagreements over the clauses of the proposed 20th Amendment.
Sections of the government, particularly Ministers from the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) had earlier insisted that Parliament would not be dissolved until the 20th Amendment to the Constitution was passed. However, the 20th Amendment, dealing with electoral reform, had been mired in controversy and would likely have not received the required 2/3 majority in Parliament.
The dissolution also means that several of the important goals set out in the 100-Day program of President Maithripala Sirisena’s government were not met. The Right to Information (RTI) Bill and the National Audit Bill, two key pieces of legislation, are now effectively dead. The inability to reach agreement on the three civil persons whose names were proposed for the Constitutional Council (CC) also meant that the much talked about independent commissions were never properly established. This also means that the upcoming General Election will not be overseen by an independent Elections Commission.