The petitioners said President Sirisena had no powers to dissolve the Parliament under the 19th amendment of the constitution and requested the Supreme Court to issue an order voiding the gazette issued by the President and to suspend the upcoming Parliamentary Election until a verdict is announced.
Continue reading ‘Chief Justice Nalin Perera, Justice Prasanna Jayawardena and Justice Priyantha Jayawardena Commence Hearing 12 F.R. Petitions Challenging Early Dissolution of Parliament and Holding of Elections; Proceedings To Continue Tomorrow as Attorney – General Required More Time’ »
Ratnajeevan Hoole filed a five-page petition seeking the quashing of the president’s decree sacking parliament and calling a snap election on January 5.
Continue reading ‘Election Commission Member Ratnajeevan Hoole Files 5 Page Petition in Supreme Court Seeking the Quashing of President Sirisena’s Gazetted Order Dissolving Parliament and Holding Elections.’ »
For the most part of the last few weeks we have been in a suspended state of disbelief. Yes, the 2015 government had not lived up to its expectations, some people were plotting for the next election to teach them a lesson, and then lightning struck. The Prime Minister was removed in the stealth of the night replaced by the arch-rival that the President was elected to depose, Parliament was prorogued and then dissolved and a huge cabinet appointed. Neither the Prime Minister nor the cabinet have shown that they have the majority of Parliament behind them and this autocratic rule will continue until January 5, unless the Supreme Court decides otherwise.
Every day my friends and I text each other with information on who is crossing, what is happening here, what is happening there, so much so that we get lost in the weeds and miss the big picture.
What is the big picture?
We are today witnessing the gross abuse of executive power in ways that have been quite unimaginable even to the best of our cynics. It is power being wielded not only against the traditions and customs of a parliamentary tradition but in brazen disregard of the words and terms of the Constitution. When I meet people socially due to spin and confusion they say, “Who cares – one set of crooks vs. another”. This is not about the crooks; it is about institutions, democracy and the system of government you would like in place for your children.
The first institution under attack by this runaway executive is the institution of Parliament. It is true the public image of Parliament and parliamentarians is not very good but they do pass laws and do many other things that allow us to govern ourselves according to a set process. The procedure set for the removal of the Prime Minister is quite clear, Sinhala technicalities notwithstanding. But the most important point in a parliamentary democracy is that the prime minister must enjoy the confidence of a parliamentary majority.