Sri Lanka's new President Gotabaya Rajapaksa called a snap election on April 25 after sacking the national parliament where his party led a minority government.
Sri Lanka's president dissolved Parliament ahead of schedule on Monday and set new elections for April in which he aims to secure a strong majority that will enable him to push for constitutional changes to increase presidential powers.
The dissolution comes six months before the parliamentary term was scheduled to end. The decree signed by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa said elections will be held on April 25.
Rajapaksa was elected to office last November but has said he cannot work freely because his presidential powers were reduced.
He has also faced restrictions because the opposition commanded a majority in the 225-member Parliament.
The election campaign period will include the first anniversary of a series of Daesh-inspired suicide bombings that killed more than 250 people in churches and tourist hotels on Easter Sunday last year.
Rajapaksa rode to power criticising the previous government of serious security and intelligence lapses that paved the way for the bombings, the worst incident of violence since the country's 26-year civil war ended in May 2009.
Constitutional changes initiated by Rajapaksa's predecessor, Maithripala Sirisena, reduced presidential powers and gave them to the Parliament and to independent commissions.
The change virtually created two political power centres — the president and the prime minister, with the prime minister in charge of Parliament and government ministers. Rajapaksa's brother, former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, is now prime minister and leads a minority government.
Rajapaksa needs two-thirds of parliamentary support to pass changes to the constitution.