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President Maithripala Sirisena today said that a new Parliament will be in place by September this year.Speaking to media heads this morning, the President said that Parliament will be dissolved after an agreement is reached on the 20th Amendment to the constitution and the Constitutional Council. The current government which came into power following elections held in January was mandated to be in power only for 100 days which ended last month. Sirisena said that when he came to power, his main goal was to reduce some of the powers given to the President and hand it over to Parliament.He added that his next aim is to obtain support for a new electoral system for which discussions are now underway.“Everything is now in the hands of the Parliament. We will be having talks this week on the electoral reforms and we hope to get them approved,” he said. The President did not say when Parliament will be dissolved and when elections will be held but he was confident that the outstanding issues will be addressed and elections will be held soon.One of the mandates given to the new government was to implement key constitutional reforms, part of which have already been approved by Parliament. “There are some pending issues to be addressed by the current Parliament. Once those issues are addressed Parliament will be dissolved and elections will be held. We should have a new Parliament by September,” he said. Differences of opinion had arisen within Sirisena’s coalition government over the past few days over the proposed electoral reforms with minor political parties saying the proposals may not favour them. (Colombo Gazette)

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