Written by Staff Writer
01 Mar, 2020 | 9:36 pm
COLOMBO (News 1st):- President Gotabaya Rajapaksa will receive powers to dissolve the Eighth Parliament at midnight tonight (March 1). The eighth Parliament first convened on the 1st of September in 2015, after the general elections on August 17th. According to the constitution, the Executive President is legally vested with the powers to dissolve Parliament after a period of four-and-a-half years.
What will happen after parliament is dissolved?
Mahinda Deshapriya: Parliament is dissolved after a gazette is issued by the President. The gazette notification should include the time frame in which nominations would be accepted, the date the election would be held and the date on which parliament will convene again. When the gazette including all of these details is issued then it can be considered as if the election period has already begun. Election laws will come into force from this day.
Journalist: Explain to us about the changes that will occur within the governmental structure?
Mahinda Deshapriya:- The president will continue to hold office in the government, the cabinet of ministers, state ministers, deputy ministers, and parliamentarians will all become former parliamentarians.
Journalist:- There are allegations from various factions, that although they are not in power, they use their official vehicles, staff, and official residences, during the election period.
Mahinda Deshapriya: If anyone who should not use an official vehicle, uses that vehicle the secretary to the ministry should be held responsible, or the head of the department or the corporation should be held responsible. They are bound by our orders. We hope to be very strict about this matter. The constitution states that it is the responsibility of the President to ensure that a peaceful environment is created to conduct the elections.
Journalist: What are the election laws regarding the display of posters, banners, and cut-outs?
Mahinda Deshapriya: Posters can be displayed at a popular location only if a rally is being held there. You can display posters including details of the names, location and times at which rallies would be held. They can also include pictures of the candidates and their leaders.
Journalist: If someone is attempting to display banners or posters contrary to the law, how would you enforce the law against them?
Mahinda Deshapriya: The police has to enforce the law. The police have the power. The police can arrest them, and they can file action against them.
Journalist: What is the law that should be followed when displaying a picture of the candidate or the leader of a party on posters or banners?
Mahinda Deshapriya:- You cannot display pictures
Journalist: No at all?
Mahinda Deshapriya: No
Journalist: At times we see candidates displaying the picture of their party leader
Mahinda Deshapriya: According to the current law, you cannot do that.
Journalist: Generally if someone is displaying a banner or a poster contrary to the election laws, the person who displays it is liable to be punished, but when the picture of a party leader is displayed shouldn’t the leader also be responsible?
Mahinda Deshapriya: The Leader should know that his picture should not be displayed. Also when the general secretary of the party is handing over nominations he must inform the candidates of the election laws and morals.
Meanwhile addressing an event held in Polonnaruwa today (March 1), Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa said:
“The Parliament has not been dissolved yet. I don’t know what will happen tomorrow. We planned to bring the Finance Bill to Parliament. However, we reversed our plans knowing that it would be defeated. The Opposition thought they could defeat the move and boast about it to the public. However, we didn’t give room for that. Therefore, we didn’t bring it. As a result, we faced a shortage of funds. That is the true story. Once the Parliament is dissolved the President has the power to obtain funds from the Treasury. We hope to act according to that. We should get ready for the election anytime from now.”
Leader of the JVP, Anura Kumara Dissanayaka speaking on the matter said:
“On March 2nd, the President will receive powers to dissolve Parliament. The government said it would provide jobs, and university entrance for students, while also pledging to purchase paddy at Rs 52 a kilo from the farmers. These promises which were made in November kept on diminishing afterwards. If this continues until September, the government will not be able to conduct the election. Therefore, they are planning to conduct the elections quickly. There might be slight delays. We should create an Opposition that can confront the government which is conducting themselves in a manner which is unfavourable to the people. That is anyone’s responsibility.”
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