Sri Lankan president dissolves parliament

  • AseanPlus News
  • Sunday, 08 Feb 2004

COLOMBO: Sri Lanka's President Chandrika Kumaratunga dissolved the parliament yesterday, in an apparent bid to end a bitter power struggle that has threatened to take the country back to war, officials said. 

Kumaratunga used her executive powers to dissolved the parliament led by her arch rival Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, setting the stage for a snap election almost four years ahead of schedule. 

A source who said they had seen the dissolution announcement claimed election would be on April 2. 

“We have just got the gazette notification for immediate printing,” said government printer Neville Nanayakkara who performs a quasi legal function in the publication of official notices. 

He said that Kumaratunga had dissolved the 225-member legislature with immediate effect. 

Kumaratunga had been in an uneasy cohabitation arrangement with Wickremesinghe since his party won parliamentary elections in December 2001. 

With the dissolution, the prime minister and his cabinet would function in a caretaker capacity with no power to take key decisions. – AFP  

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