Contrary to arguments by the UPFA MPs and their supporters, former President Mahinda Rajapaksa has publicly admitted that Parliament cannot be dissolved before four and a half years under the provisions of the 19th Amendment.
In an interview with BBC Sandeshaya in February, this year, Rajapaksa said Parliament could not be dissolved before four and a half years under the latest constitutional amendment. Rajapaksa spoke to BBC Sandeshaya at the conclusion of the last Local Government election, in which his party, the SLPP, pulled off a stunning victory.
Rajapaksa said all parties in Parliament should come together in demanding a Parliamentary election and seek a fresh mandate from the public. Rajapaksa has also admitted that an early dissolution of Parliamentary required a resolution by a two thirds majority.
Rajapaksa’s views on the 19th Amendment today demonstrate a sharp shift in his opinion on the dissolution of Parliament and holding a snap election. Rajapaksa and his group now fiercely argue that the President is empowered to dissolve Parliament and hold snap elections at will, despite strong constitutional barriers imposed by the 19th Amendment.
Rajapaksa’s interview with BBC Sandeshaya: