Sri Lanka’s President Mahinda Rajapaksa decided to dissolve parliament ahead of legislative elections.
Residents of the capital Colombo said jobs and the economy are front and center among their concerns.
[Mohammad Ali, Worker]:
“We need jobs, cost of food stuffs must come down and poor people must be able to live in freedom.”
In last month's presidential election, the incumbent Mahinda Rajapaksa beat former army commander General Sarath Fonseka by a landslide. The legislative poll is set to follow on April 8th.
Parliament completes its six-year term on April 22.
After losing the presidential election, Fonseka accused Rajapaksa of vote rigging, vowing to challenge the results in court and stand for Parliament.
[Rohan Edirisinghe, Law Lecturer, Colombo University]:
“Well, obviously President Rajapaksa is trying to capitalize on his presidential election victory, make use of the momentum he has gained, catch the opposition a bit unprepared. And so yes, the challenge is for the opposition to get its act together, to decide whether to contest as it did indeed at the presidential election as a single unit or different parties that formed that common coalition will contest on their own.”
Over 11 million voters will elect 225 members to Parliament, which has legislative powers.