President Mahinda Rajapakse on Tuesday dissolved Parliament and called for general election s two months ahead of schedule. April 8 will be the polling day.
The announcement came hours after former army chief and defeated Presidential candidate Gen Sarath Finseka was detained to face court martial on the charge that he had plotted to over throw the government prior to his retirement in November last.
Rajapakse signed the decree dissolving the national assembly with effect from midnight Tuesday, spokesman Lucien Rajakarunanayake said. “It is now up to the elections commissioner to decide on the dates for the parliamentary election,” he said. The term of the dissolved house was to end in April.
Rajapakse’s latest move allows the ruling party, Freedom Alliance. to cashin on his victory in the January 26 presidential election. The ruling alliance was initially short of even a working majority in the dissolved house. Its ranks swelled because of defection of over two dozen opposition law makers.
Rajapakse now hopes to consolidate his hold on the new parliament by securing a landslide victory for his party