power to dissolve parliament lies with parliament after presidential election

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By Rose Kenny

The power to dissolve parliament previously was in the hands of the President, but after the presidential election, the decision on whether or not to dissolve parliament can only be made by Parliament itself,  said Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe in parliament today.

He was responding to a question raised by JVP-MP Bimal Ratnayake.

“Today the power to dissolve parliament lies with the parliament unlike in the past where the power was vested on the President. In the event the need arises to dissolve parliament it can only be done with the agreement of parliament. The decision on whether or not to dissolve parliament, after the Presidential election, is something that parliament should decide upon, together with the party leaders consent” he said.

Bimal Ratnayake also asked if by not allocating specific allocations for government institutions and by making provisions through an interim account, whether it would pave the way for misappropriation of funds.  He also raised concern that during the elections this would pave the way for the misuse of state property and funds.

In response, Prime Minister Wickremesinghe said as this year’s allocations have been made as per the appropriation bill, there is no possibility of such allocations being misused. “We cannot go beyond that and until December 31, this year we will have to adhere accordingly. None of the new projects would be included.”

He also said that in the event a government is misusing such state funds, the Election Commission has the authority to take appropriate action.

He noted that as a government our aim is to maintain a primary surplus. “Last year we did it and we are trying to do the same this year. We want to increase the primary surplus next year even further. Hence, we cannot increase the spending as then we would not be able to meet our goal. By controlling our expenses, we will be able to prevent a negative surplus and maintain a positive surplus,” the Prime Minister said.