Supreme Court holds open hearing on Presidentís term
January 11, 2018 04:10 pm
The Supreme Court of Sri Lanka says that it held an open court hearing to decide whether the President’s term is five or six years.
The court said it will convey its decision to President Maithripala Sirisena.
Meanwhile the President’s Media Division, issuing a statement, said that two different views have been expressed in legal, civil and political circles about the duration of the term of Presidency after the enactment of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution.
“In order to dispel this confusion, the President has sought the opinion of the Supreme Court regarding the actual term of office.”
According to the powers vested on the President under the Constitution, the President has the right to seek the opinion of the Supreme Court, it said, adding, that the former Presidents who held office had also sought the opinion of the Supreme Court during their tenures.
“It is a significant feature in the constitutions of democratic governance.”
Chief Justice Priyasath Dep yesterday appointed a five-judge bench the reference application forwarded by the President seeking an opinion whether it is constitutional for him to serve for a period of six years in the office of President.
The matter was taken up before a Supreme Court five-judge-bench comprising Chief Justice Priyasath Dep, Justice Eva Wanasundara, Justice Buwaneka Aluvihare, Justice Sisira de Abrew and Justice K.T. Chitrasiri today (11).
President Maithripala Sirisena, in terms of Article 129 (1) of the Constitution, has referred to the Supreme Court the following question for consideration and for an opinion to be submitted to the President on or before January 14, 2018.
“Whether, in terms of Provisions of the Constitution, I, as the person elected and succeeding to the office of President and having assumed such office in terms of Article 32(1) of the Constitution on January 9 2015, have any impediment to continue in the office of President for a period of six years from January 9 2015, the date on which the result of my election to the office of President was declared.”