Top News

Sri Lanka to hold parliamentary poll in April: election commission

Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa delivers his speech laying out the policies of his new government, after ceremonially opening the new session of parliament, in Colombo, Sri Lanka January 3, 2020. REUTERS/Dinuka Liyanawatte/File Photo

COLOMBO (Reuters) - Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa dissolved parliament late on Monday, and the election commission announced a general election for April 25.

Rajapaksa - a former defence secretary - won the presidency last November and named his elder brother Mahinda Rajapaksa as interim prime minister.

The election could help the Rajapaksas, known for the brutal defeat of separatist Tamil rebels, to strengthen their hold over the island of 22 million people.

The president is empowered by Sri Lanka’s constitution to dissolve parliament any time after it completes four-and-a-half years of its five-year term - which it did on Monday.

The new parliament will meet on May 14, the election commission said in a statement.

Reporting by Waruna Karunatilake, Writing by Devjyot Ghoshal; Editing by Kevin Liffey