Parliament prorogued until September

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 10 July 2001, 22:14 GMT]
The Sri Lankan government prorogued Parliament until September. An official statement issued late Tuesday said the legislature was "prorogued with effect from midnight July 10 until September 7". The statement said that the President would call a referendum on a new constitution on August 21.

The move comes in the wake of the People's Alliance regime's failure to secure adequate support in the Parliament to counter the no confidence motion by the opposition.

chandrika_kumarathunge_11-p.jpgThe opposition said that the reference to the referendum was a ploy to buy time in September to stall the no confidence motion again until October when the Parliament could be dissolved and a fresh election is called by the President.

Although the opposition long expected the President to prorogue parliament, todayĚs announcement appears to have caught it unawares.

The statement said that the government would hold a national referendum on August 21 to ask the people whether they needed a new constitution to solve the national crisis.

Opposition politicians charged that holding the referendum while the Parliament remains suspended is unconstitutional and is against the norms of democracy.

 

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