In an unprecedented move, a member of Sri Lanka’s independent Elections Commission has challenged President Maithripala Sirisena’s dissolution of Parliament in the Supreme Court.
Prof. S. Ratnajeevan H. Hoole, a member of the three man Commission chaired by Mahinda Deshapriya filed a fundamental rights petition in the country’s highest court claiming that the sacking of Parliament was illegal – and that this was the view of all three members of the Commission.
His petition joins at least 11 others filed at Supreme Court on Monday morning, the moment the courts opened for work after the Friday midnight dissolution.
Dr Hoole’s petition cites the two other members of the Elections Commission – Deshapriya and Nalin Abeysekera – a former Legal Draftsman, the Attorney General and the Secretary to the President Udaya Seneviratne.
His petition is filed under Article 17 of the Constitution read with Article 127.
On Saturday when the Commission met for the first time after the President’s illegal sacking, Hoole flatly refused to sign the order directing Commissioner General of Elections to begin preliminary administrative work on holding the polls.
Sources said Hoole declined to sign stating that since the dissolution of Parliament was illegal and unconstitutional, there were no seats vacant for the Commission to hold an election to fill.