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Myanmar parliament speaker hopes for smooth democratic transition

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Naypyidaw: Myanmar’s parliament speaker U Shwe Mann on Tuesday hoped the country would witness the democratic reform in a smooth and stable way, Xinhua reported.

Responding to the leadership change of the ruling Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP), he told the House of Representatives that he did not want to bring matters of the party to the parliament.

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U Shwe Mann

U Htay Oo, who replaced U Shwe Mann as the USDP chairman on August 13, said the party’s leadership change was done with consolidation within the party and it would not bear grudge over any person.

The party would enter the November 8 general election without change of its candidates, he said, stressing that there was also no change in the party’s policy.

(IANS)

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President’s Dissolution of Parliament Unconstitutional: Sri Lanka’s Court

The push to oust Rajapaksa dragged Sri Lanka's parliament into chaos.

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Sri Lanka, Parliament, Prime minister
Supporters of ousted Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe celebrate outside the supreme court complex in Colombo. VOA

Sri Lanka’s Supreme Court has ruled that President Maithripala Sirisena’s move to dissolve parliament last month was illegal.

In a unanimous decision announced Thursday, the seven-member court said that Sirisena violated the constitution when he called a snap election nearly two years before the parliamentary session was due to end.

The decision adds another chapter to a political crisis that began on on October 26, when President Sirisena fired Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, claiming that an informant told police that a Cabinet minister was part of a plot to assassinate him.

Sri Lanka, parliament
Ousted Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe holds a copy of the constitution of Sri Lanka as he attends a media briefing at his official residence in Colombo, Oct. 29, 2018. VOA

He replaced Wickremesinghe with Mahinda Rajapaksa, the country’s former president and strongman, then suspended parliament the next day. In an apparent bow to international pressure, Sirisena summoned lawmakers back to work last Monday.

But when it became apparent that Rajapaksa would not survive a no-confidence vote, Sirisena dissolved parliament on November 9 and called for snap elections. The Supreme Court overruled the president’s decree in a ruling issued just days later.

Wickremesinghe has remained in the prime minister’s official residence in Colombo in defiance of Sirisena’s actions.

Sri Lanka, Parliament
Newly appointed Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa speaks during the parliament session in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Nov. 15, 2018. VOA

The push to oust Rajapaksa dragged Sri Lanka’s parliament into chaos. Speaker Karu Jayasuriya held a voice vote on November 14 on the no-confidence motion after Rajapaksa’s supporters staged an noisy, impromptu protest in the chamber before debate began.

Also Read: Sri Lanka On The Brink of ‘Economic Anarchy’

The next day, rival lawmakers exchanged blows after Jayasuriya declared that Sri Lanka had no prime minister or a cabinet, with some of Rajapaksa’s supporters hurling water bottles and other objects at Jayasuriya. (VOA)