This verdict is a resounding blow to Maithripala Sirisena, the President, who hails from the Sri Lanka Freedom Party and wanted to displace the candidate of the other party of the coalition – United National Party – from the Prime Ministerial post.
The Supreme Court of Sri Lanka has rejected the President Sirisena’s attempt to dismiss the Parliament and hold snap elections. This move has left the country leader-less, but has also averted an escalating democratic crises that had paralysed the nation for more than six weeks. However, this decision also leaves Sri Lanka without a budget, and lawmakers have warned that public sector employees may not get paid for the month.
The coup was to displace the previous Prime Minister, who came from the opposing party to that of the President which formed the coalition, Mr Ranil Wickremsesinghe, who has declared this an “undemocratic coup”. He has refused to vacate his seat for the replacement – Mr Mahinda Rajapaksa. Mr Rajapaksa was also unable to rally enough MPs to support him in the Parliament to confirm his position. President Sirisena also tried to hold snap elections. But all this has been undone by the verdict of the Supreme Court. Fireworks were let off in front of the Supreme Court building in Colombo after this verdict.
“We trust that the president will promptly respect the judgment of the courts,” Mr Wickremesinghe tweeted shortly after the verdict. “The legislature, judiciary, and the executive are equally important pillars of a democracy and the checks and balances that they provide are crucial to ensuring the sovereignty of its citizens.”