Sri Lanka: Your Honour, He Can hold the Office Untill 2021 — AG Tells the Top Court

The AG pointed out that the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, which limited the President’s term of office to five years, came into effect in May, 2015, after President Sirisena was sworn in office.


( January 11, 2018, Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian) President Maithripala Sirisena can hold office for six years from January 9, 2015, the Attorney General told the Supreme Court today (11).

Giving his opinion regarding the President’s term of office, Attorney General Jayantha Jayasuriya told court that the mandate given to President Sirisena at the last Presidential Election was for six years. This cannot be changed by bringing in new legislation but would require a new mandate from the people and Parliamentary approval, he added.

The AG pointed out that the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, which limited the President’s term of office to five years, came into effect in May, 2015, after President Sirisena was sworn in office.

The AG stated that even the President himself could not change the term of Presidential Office. If he wants, he could resign but the person who takes over from him would be required to serve the balance time period in order to complete the six year term.

The last Parliament served its six year period and was not disturbed in keeping with provisions in the 19th Amendment and this also applies to the Presidential Office, the AG added. The people can give a mandate for the next President to serve the five year term, it was further stated.

A five-judge bench of the Supreme Court is currently hearing arguments over a request made by President Sirisena from the Supreme Court for an opinion on whether he can stay in office as President for six years – till 2021.

Author: Sri Lanka Guardian

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