2020 Sri Lankan parliamentary election

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16th Sri Lankan parliamentary election

← 2015 20 June 2020
16th Parliament of Sri Lanka

All 225 seats to the Parliament of Sri Lanka
113 seats are needed for a majority
  Ranil Wickremesinghe.jpg Mahinda Rajapaksa 2006.jpg Sajith Premadasa.jpg
Leader Ranil Wickramasinghe Mahinda Rajapaksa Sajith Premadasa
Party United National Party Sri Lanka People's Freedom Alliance Samagi Jana Balawegaya
Leader since 1994 2019 2020
Leader's seat Colombo District Kurunegala District Colombo District
Last election 106[lower-alpha 1] 95[lower-alpha 2] New Party
Seats needed 7 18 113

  R. Sampanthan.jpg AnuraKumara.jpg
Leader R. Sampanthan Anura Kumara Dissanayaka
Party Tamil National Alliance National People's Power
Leader since 2001 2019
Leader's seat Trincomalee District Colombo District
Last election 16 6
Seats needed 97 107

Incumbent Prime Minister

Mahinda Rajapaksa
United People's Freedom Alliance

Parliamentary elections in Sri Lanka are scheduled to be held on 20 June 2020, subject to change with on going COVID-19 in Sri Lanka.[1][2]

In November 2018, the date was briefly moved forward by more than a year to 5 January 2019 due to President Maithripala Sirisena dissolving parliament during a constitutional crisis and calling for a snap election.[3] The Supreme Court later suspended the dissolution and ordered a halt to the snap election, effectively moving the election's date back to 2020.[4]

On 19 March, Election Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya revealed that the election will be postponed indefinitely due to the COVID-19 pandemic.[5][6] Sri Lankan government initially insisted that scheduled forthcoming the election would proceed as planned on 25 April despite the COVID-19 pandemic in Sri Lanka, and the authorities banned election rallies and meetings.[7] During the video conference with SAARC leaders, Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa initially confirmed that the parliamentary elections would be held as scheduled.[8] Even the presidents comments holding the elections as scheduled, the elections commission in Sri lanka put off the date to June 20th 2020, using its powers. [9], making a crisis between the presidents office and the constitutions, and the matter going to the courts. [10][11]

Timeline[edit source | edit]

  • 9 November 2018 - President Maithripala Sirisena dissolves parliament and calls general elections to be held on January 5, 2019.[12]
  • 13 December 2018 - The Supreme Court of Sri Lanka ruled unanimously that President Maithripala Sirisena's order to dissolve Parliament and hold new elections was unconstitutional.[13]
  • 16 December 2018 - Ranil Wickramasinghe was sworn back as Prime Minister after the Supreme Court ruled that Mahinda Rajapaksa can not act as Prime Minister.[14][15]
  • 30 January 2020 - United National Party working committee approves Leader of Opposition Sajith Premadasa as its Prime Minister candidate.[17]
  • 10 February 2020 - Leader of the opposition Sajith Premadasa forms a new alliance called Samagi Jana Balawegaya.[18]
  • 17 February 2020 - Sri Lanka People's Freedom Alliance registered under the leadership of Mahinda Rajapaksa and Maithripala Sirisena named as chairperson.[19]
  • 3 March 2020- President dissolved Parliament, elections on April 25 2020 and nominations end March 18th.[20]
  • 19 March 2020 - Election Commission postpone the elections without announcing a new date due to COVID -19 pandamic.[21]
  • 3 April 2020 - Elections Commission write to the president asking him to see advise for a new date or make an alternative since they are unable to hold the elections as per presidents gazzate.[22]
  • 9 April 2020 - President's Secretary PB Jayasundara response to the commission that president will not get any advice from the courts on the elections, and it is the commissions' responsibility to hold the elections, warning of Constitutional Crisis.[23]
  • 20 April 2020 - Election Commission of Sri Lanka declared June 20th, 2020 as the date of elections, after a member of commission Professor Ratnajeevan Hoole object to hold the election on May 28th, 2020 with the government influence. [24] [25]
  • 5 May 2020 - newspaper Editor Victor Ivan and seven others filed a Fundamental Rights petition in Supreme Court seeking an order quashing the Extraordinary Gazette notification declaring the General Election on June 20.[26]
  • 6 May 2020- Samagi Jana Balawegaya files a Fundamental Rights petition challenging the Gazette notification issued by the Elections Commission declaring the General Election to be held on 20 June.[27]
  • 9 May 2020 - Champika Ranawaka of Jathika Hela Urumaya and Kumara Welgama of New Sri Lanka freedom Party files Fundamental Rights petition challenging the Gazette notification issued by the Elections Commission declaring the General Election to be held on 20 June.[28]
  • 18 May 2020 - Supreme Court's 5 member judge bench started hearing 8 petitions against the June 20th general election date.[29]
  • 20 May 2020 - Elections Commission inform the Supreme court that June 20th fix date is no longer a possible date for the election.[30]

Background[edit source | edit]

During the constitutional crisis in 2018, Sirisena dissolved parliament and ordered a snap election after his nominee for Prime Minister, Mahinda Rajapaksa, failed to gain a majority in Parliament to back his nomination.[3]

However, after the constitutionality of the dissolution was challenged before Sri Lanka's Supreme Court, the dissolution was suspended, and the snap election was put on hold while the court case was ongoing. On 13 December 2018, the Supreme Court ruled the dissolution of the parliament unconstitutional, moving the election back to its original date.[31]

COVID -19[edit source | edit]

On March 19, 2020, Sri Lanka reported an increase in COVID-19 pandemic, but the government went ahead with the nominations until March 18, 2020, to close nominations to the elections. [32]On March 19 soon after the nominations ended, the elections commission with its powers postpone the elections.[33] April 25,2020 date of postponed by the elections commission until June 20th 2020 due to the virus.

Electoral system[edit source | edit]

196 MPs were elected from 22 multi-member electoral districts using the D'Hondt method with an open list, a proportional representation system.[34][35] The remaining 29 seats were allocated to contesting parties and independent groups in proportion to their share of the national vote.[36][37]

Notes[edit source | edit]

  1. Represents seats won by the now defunct United National Front for Good Governance (UNFGG) at the 2015 parliamentary election.
  2. Represents seats won by the now defunct United People's Freedom Alliance (UPFA) at the 2015 parliamentary election.

References[edit source | edit]

  1. "Sri Lankan parliament dissolved; elections set for April". www.aljazeera.com. Retrieved 16 March 2020.
  2. "General Election will be held on June 20". MSN.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Bastians, Dharisha; Goel, Vindu (9 November 2018). "Sri Lanka President Dissolves Parliament Amid Power Struggle". New York Times. Retrieved 26 November 2018.
  4. "Sri Lanka Supreme Court overturns dissolution of parliament". Al Jazeera and news agencies. 13 November 2018. Retrieved 26 November 2018.
  5. "Sri Lanka's General Election postponed till country is freed from COVID-19". NewsIn.Asia. 19 March 2020. Retrieved 19 March 2020.
  6. "Sri Lanka's General Election postponed: Until the polls Country comes under Election Commission | Asian Tribune". www.asiantribune.com. Retrieved 19 March 2020.
  7. admin (15 March 2020). "President tells SAARC leaders April election will go ahead". Colombo Gazette. Retrieved 16 March 2020.
  8. MENAFN. "Sri Lanka- President tells SAARC leaders April election will go ahead". menafn.com. Retrieved 16 March 2020.
  9. https://www.yahoo.com/lifestyle/sri-lanka-quandary-over-holding-100322893.html
  10. https://www.outlookindia.com/newsscroll/sri-lankan-supreme-court-told-parliamentary-election-can-be-held-on-june-20-under-health-guidelines/1843135
  11. https://wtop.com/asia/2020/04/sri-lanka-in-quandary-over-holding-elections-amid-virus/
  12. https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-46156303
  13. https://news.yahoo.com/sri-lanka-court-verdict-expected-parliaments-dissolution-090205031.html
  14. https://www.tamilguardian.com/content/ranil-sworn-back-prime-minister
  15. https://news.yahoo.com/sri-lanka-court-denies-rajapakse-authority-act-pm-105810542.html
  16. https://www.tamilguardian.com/content/ranil-wickremesinghe-resign-sri-lanka%E2%80%99s-prime-minister-mahinda-take-over
  17. http://www.colombopage.com/archive_20A/Jan30_1580399088CH.php
  18. https://english.theleader.lk/news/654-sajith-s-alliance-to-be-named-samagi-jana-balawegaya-with-the-heart-as-its-symbol
  19. http://www.adaderana.lk/news/60849/slpp-and-slfp-to-contest-general-election-under-new-alliance-with-mahinda-as-leader
  20. https://www.hindustantimes.com/world-news/sri-lankan-parliament-dissolved-elections-on-april-25/story-qkVWPKjcJAQDX2E75P40kL.html
  21. http://www.adaderana.lk/news/61545/sri-lankas-general-election-postponed
  22. http://constitutionnet.org/news/sri-lankan-election-commission-asks-president-seek-court-opinion-parliamentary-election-delay
  23. https://www.lankanewsweb.net/66-special-news/59902-Presidents-Secretary-responds-to-Election-Commission-on-the-warning-of-Constitutional-Crisis
  24. https://www.newsfirst.lk/2020/04/20/prof-hoole-objects-proposal-to-conduct-poll-on-may-28/
  25. https://www.msn.com/en-xl/news/other/general-election-will-be-held-on-june-20/ar-BB12VUiK
  26. https://www.msn.com/en-xl/news/other/victor-ivan-and-seven-others-file-fr-against-general-election/ar-BB13CTEo
  27. https://colombogazette.com/2020/05/06/samagi-jana-balawegaya-files-petition-against-20-june-polls/
  28. https://colombogazette.com/2020/05/09/champika-and-welgama-file-petitions-against-polls/
  29. http://www.adaderana.lk/news/63692/five-member-judge-bench-to-hear-fr-petitions-against-elections-date
  30. https://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2020/05/20/world/asia/ap-as-sri-lanka-election.html
  31. Rasheed, Zaheena; Kuruwita, Rathindra (13 December 2018). "Sri Lanka's Supreme Court overturns sacking of parliament". Al Jazeera. Retrieved 14 December 2018.
  32. http://www.colombopage.com/archive_20A/Mar19_1584592211CH.php
  33. http://www.adaderana.lk/news/61545/sri-lankas-general-election-postponed
  34. Blanc, Jarrett; Hylland, Aanund; Vollan, Kare (2006). State Structure and Electoral Systems in Post-Conflict Situations. International Foundation for Electoral Systems. p. 106. ISBN 1-931459-17-7.
  35. "Report of the Post-Election Assessment of Sri Lanka Mission: November 28 – December 2, 2000" (PDF). National Democratic Institute for International Affairs. 28 December 2000. p. 10. Archived from the original (PDF) on 3 March 2016. Retrieved 10 November 2018.
  36. Thilakarathne, N. M. C. (1997). "Parliament Library of Sri Lanka". In Brian, Rob (ed.). Parliamentary Libraries and Information Services of Asia and the Pacific: Papers prepared for the 62nd IFLA Conference Beijing, China August 25–31, 1996. Walter de Gruyte. p. 87. ISBN 3-11-094763-3.
  37. "Sri Lanka: Parliament". Inter-Parliamentary Union.

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