Wednesday, December 19, 2018 01:07:01 AM

Sri Lanka ousted premier ready for polls as legal action planned

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Ranil Wickremesinghe, Sri Lanka’s ousted prime minister, speaks during an interview. (Bloomberg pic)

COLOMBO: Sri Lanka’s ousted prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe is ready for polls after President Maithripala Sirisena dissolved the island nation’s parliament and called for a snap general election.

“We are prepared to go for an election, but this is illegal,” said Harsha De Siva, who was state minister of economic affairs under Wickremesinghe’s government. “There will be a massive backing of citizens that believe in democracy and rule of law.”

The party of the deposed prime minister also said it would mount a legal challenge to the president’s move in Sri Lanka’s top court. The 225-seat parliament, which had already been suspended in the political chaos, was dissolved at midnight Friday with a vote scheduled for Jan 5 and a new parliament set to reconvene on Jan 17.

The dissolution is the latest twist in a constitutional crisis that began Oct 26 when Sirisena unexpectedly fired Wickremesinghe, who served since 2015 as prime minister in a unity government with the president….

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