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The gazette also said that the nomination period for the upcoming elections will be held between March 12 and March 19, where nominees can file their nomination papers to election officers.

Mahinda Rajapaksa (L) and his brother Gotabaya Rajapaksa, at a Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) party conference held in Colombo, capital of Sri Lanka. (Photo by Ajith Perera/Xinhua/IANS)

Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has issued a special gazette notice, dissolving the Parliament and declaring parliamentary elections to be held on April 25.

In the special gazette released by the Presidential Secretariat on Monday, Rajapaksa dissolved the Parliament from Monday midnight and summoned a new parliament to meet on May 14, Xinhua reported.

The gazette also said that the nomination period for the upcoming elections will be held between March 12 and March 19, where nominees can file their nomination papers to election officers.

Sri Lanka’s Parliament is being dissolved after four and a half years, which is the legal limit, paving the way for polls to elect 225 members in the House.

During the dissolution period, the country will be run by a caretaker government with Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa and a cabinet of ministers, local media reports quoting political experts said, while all state ministers and deputy ministers will lose their posts.

An estimated 16 million people are expected to cast their votes in the April elections.

Premadasa’s New Party

A supporter of Gotabaya Rajapaksa cheers along the street in Colombo, Sri Lanka

Former Sri Lankan presidential hopeful Sajith Premadasa has launched the new Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) alliance ahead of the April 25 parliamentary elections, saying it was a long-term effort to build a new political culture beyond the polls, it was reported.

The SJB, a largely United National Party (UNP) creation, was launched with the participation of a number of the ruling party MPs, minority party politicians and civil society supporters at an event here on Monday, the Daily Financial Times newspaper reported on Tuesday.

The launch saw 12 political parties and civil society groups sign an agreement to formally join the alliance.

Addressing the event, Premadasa, also the UNP Deputy Leader, said that the launch signified a democratic, progressive people’s revolution targeted at the upcoming pollss.

“Unlike political alliances or fronts formed in the past for winning elections, this alliance will have longitude and we plan to take our motherland in a new direction, through a new political culture,” he said.

Premadasa is slated to contest the polls from Colombo district, where former Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe is also in the fray.

COLOMBO, Aug. 11, 2019 (Xinhua) -- Sri Lanka's opposition leader Mahinda Rajapaksa (L) hugs his brother, former defense secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa, at a Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) party conference held in Colombo, capital of Sri Lanka, Aug. 11, 2019. Sri Lanka's opposition leader Mahinda Rajapaksa on Sunday named his brother and former defense secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa as the opposition's presidential candidate in a presidential race which will be held later this year. Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena said recently that the Presidential Elections is likely to be held in November or December. (Photo by Ajith Perera/Xinhua/IANS) by Ajith Perera.
Mahinda Rajapaksa (L) hugs his brother Gotabaya Rajapaksa. (Photo by Ajith Perera/Xinhua/IANS)

The developments on Monday came on the same day when President Gotabaya Rajapaksa dissolved Parliament, paving the way for the April 25 polls to elect 225 members in the House, reports the Daily Financial Times.

The President also fixed May 14 for the new Parliament to meet and announced March 12-19 will be the nomination period.

Sri Lanka’s Parliament was dissolved after four and a half years, which is the legal limit.

During the dissolution period, the country will be run by a caretaker government with Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa and a cabinet of ministers, while all state ministers and deputy ministers will lose their posts.

An estimated 16 million people are expected to vote in April.

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