General Election on December 5

Parliament was dissolved with effect from midnight on Wednesday. Accordingly the goverment will hold general elections on December 5.

Nominations for the election will be accepted between October 20-27, while the new parliament will sit on January 1, 2002.

The dissolution of parliament was announced by a Extraordinary Gazette notification on Wednesday night.

The decision has been taken following extensive discussions on the current political crisis at a meeting of the government parliamentary group headed by the President.

Government sources attributed the decision to the opposition gaining a parliamentary majority immediately prior to the no confidence motion which was to be debated in parliament yesterday.

Nine MP’s crossed over to the opposition on Tuesday and Wednesday in Parliament, mounting pressure on the ruling party which had to face a UNP no-faith motion yesterday.

On Wednesday, government ally, CWC leader, Minister Arumugam Thondaman resigned from the cabinet. This move was seen as a step for CWC MPs to support the opposition’s no faith motion.