Sri Lanka to hold parliamentary poll in April, says election commission

Sri Lanka's President Gotabaya Rajapaksa addresses the nation during the 72nd independence day ceremony, in Colombo February 4, 2020. — Reuters pic
Sri Lanka's President Gotabaya Rajapaksa addresses the nation during the 72nd independence day ceremony, in Colombo February 4, 2020. — Reuters pic

COLOMBO, March 3 — Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa dissolved parliament late yesterday, and the election commission announced a general election for April 25.

Rajapaksa — a former defence secretary — won the presidency last November and named his elder brother Mahinda Rajapaksa as interim prime minister.

The election could help the Rajapaksas, known for the brutal defeat of separatist Tamil rebels, to strengthen their hold over the island of 22 million people.

The president is empowered by Sri Lanka's constitution to dissolve parliament any time after it completes four-and-a-half years of its five-year term — which it did yesterday.

The new parliament will meet on May 14, the election commission said in a statement. — Reuters

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