Two weeks after suddenly appointing former Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapakse, President Sirisena announced on Friday night that he will hold early elections on 5 January 2019.
By Guillaume Delacroix (Bombay, correspondence)
A major obstacle stood on the road to Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena. While his new prime minister, Mahinda Rajapakse, had been seeking since his surprise appointment on October 26, to gather on his behalf a majority in Parliament, to establish its legitimacy and convince his predecessor, Ranil Wickremesinghe, always cut off from Temple Trees, the official residence of the head of government in Colombo, to give up power, mathematics have decided.
Despite intense negotiations and attempts to buy MPs' votes, as some have testified in the press, Sirisena realized that he would not achieve his goal: Several local sources, former President Rajapakse, known for repressing in blood almost thirty years of Tamil rebellion in 2009, was assured in recent hours only 106 votes, in a hemicycle composed of 225 seats.
On Friday, November 9, President Sirisena was sworn in by new ministers but finally decided to announce early parliamentary elections on January 5, 2019. At midnight Parliament was officially dissolved. The deadline for applications is 26 November and parliamentary work will resume on 17 January, said the presidency, which suggests two turbulent months on the Indian Ocean island, which is sinking into the sea. political crisis.
The current legislature will finally be shortened by eighteen months, while the president, who came to power against all odds in January 2015 by beating Mr. Rajapakse in the presidential election, had initially opted for a suspension of nearly three weeks of the room. It was to meet again on Wednesday, November 14 and hold a vote of confidence to separate the two prime ministers currently in office. It will be nothing.