Sri Lanka announces rapid parliamentary polls on April 25

COLOMBO Sri Lanka The new one called early elections on April 25 after dismissing the national parliament where his party led a minority government, officials said Monday.

He received the power to dissolve the 225-member legislature, as he completed four and a half years of his five-year term on Sunday.

We received a formal notification dissolving the parliament and establishing the electoral calendar, an Electoral Commission official told AFP.

He said the notice should be published in the Government Gazette later Monday.

Political parties and independent groups may submit nomination documents later this month and the first session of the new elected parliament is scheduled for May 14, the official said, citing the presidential decree.

Rajapaksa, 70, won a landslide in the November presidential elections and appointed his older brother and former president Mahinda as prime minister, consolidating his control over power.

Mahinda, who had been president twice and prime minister three times, is expected to lead his Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP, or People's Front) participates in a comfortable victory in next month's polls.

Political commentators have said it would be a formidable challenge for the opposition to prevent Rajapaksa from obtaining a two-thirds majority, which will allow him to sweep powers to govern the nation of 21 million people.

The (UNP) of the former Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe It has been plagued by a debilitating internal power struggle.

The Rajapaksas are worshiped by the Sinhalese Buddhist majority, but detested among minority Tamils, for leading the defeat of the separatist militants in 2009 to end the island's 37-year ethnic war.

Prime Minister Rajapaksa announced last month that the country was withdrawing from a UN resolution investigating alleged war crimes in 2009, a measure that was considered to increase its popularity among the Sinhalese majority.

Mahinda was president when Sri Lanka n troops defeated Tamil Tiger guerrillas in 2009.

Human rights groups accused the army of killing at least 40,000 Tamil civilians in the last months of the conflict, a charge Colombo has denied.

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