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Sri Lanka President says raised general election possibility due to political tensions

ECONOMYNEXT – The possibility of general elections coming before Presidential elections in 2019 was put forward because of political tensions, President Maithripala Sirisena said.

Under Sri Lanka’s constitution, President Sirisena can only sack the parliament in 4.5 years, which falls after his term ends in January 2020. The last general election was held in September 2015.

"I did not say it will happen, but said it could because there was an environment where it was difficult to take the government forward," President Sirisena told reporters in Colombo.

He side-stepped a question whether fences were mended with Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe saying whether there were any reports of tensions in the cabinet.

President Sirisena suddenly appointed ex-President Mahinda Rajapaksa as Prime Minister in October, plunging the country into a political crisis, saying he could no longer work with Wickremesinghe who was autocratic and there was also a cultural gulf between the two.



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