Former Speaker Karu Jayasuriya today appealed to the government, opposition, and other stakeholders to set aside their political differences and take urgent and meaningful steps to avoid an unnecessary constitutional crisis in case the general election cannot be held on time.

“In the event holding elections on time is not possible, a constitutional crisis must be avoided at all costs. Such a crisis entails the risk of delegitimising and destabilising our country and could gravely impact Sri Lanka’s prospects of obtaining economic relief,” Jayasuriya warned in a statement.

He said the government and opposition must engage with the Election Commission and with each other urgently and in good faith to avoid such a situation and if there are any precautions or new laws that the Commission determines would allow it to safely hold elections in time, these must be explored immediately.

“Sri Lanka and the world are faced with an unprecedented health and economic crisis. As the prospect of a constitutional crisis further compounding the plight of our country is a matter of grave national concern, I am setting out my position publicly rather than replying to each query individually,” he said.

He added that every country in the world is putting political differences aside and uniting to face this threat. "Sri Lanka is the only democracy to face the COVID-19 crisis without a legislature to pass laws and financial appropriations to combat the pandemic and its economic consequence," he said.