Sri Lankan president sets Jan. 5 for parliamentary polls

COLOMBO, Nov. 10 (Xinhua) — Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena late Friday signed a special gazette notification dissolving parliament and declaring Jan. 5 as the date for a snap parliamentary election.

The president said the parliament would stand dissolved from Saturday 12 a.m. (local time) and nominations for the parliamentary elections would be called from Nov. 19 to Nov. 26.

He further set Jan. 17, 2019 as the new date for the new parliament to convene.

Sirisena’s move to dissolve the parliament comes one and a half years ahead of the scheduled parliamentary polls.

The president sacked Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and appointed former president Mahinda Rajapakse to the post on Oct. 26.

Sirisena made the move after his United People’s Freedom Alliance quit the national unity government which it had formed with Wickremesinghe’s United National Party.

New Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapakse late Friday welcomed the president’s decision to dissolve the parliament, saying a parliamentary election “will truly establish the will of the people and make way for a stable country.”

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