Former President Mahinda Rajapakshe, who served two terms as President of Srilanka was debarred from contesting for the third term through 19th amendment to the constitution.
Under this same constitutional amendment President’s term was reduced from 6 years to 5 years and through a clause incumbent President term too fixed only for 5 years. Now the President has asked interpretation of the Supreme Court to clarify and inform him whether current President’s term of office is 5 or 6 years.
Attorney General put the argument before the Supreme Court 5 member Bench that as he was elected through people’s vote to serve for 6 years and took oath, he is entitle to hold office for 6 years. However, it was challenged by parties opposing it. They argued, if there was a doubt about his term of office, President wouldhave gone to the Supreme Court at the time 19th amendment was brought and not now. The Supreme Court 5 member Bench will deliver the correct interpretation to the president before today (14).
In view of the above submission made by the Attorney General in the Supreme Court, Mahinda speaking to BBC world Service yesterday said, if the court accept Attorney General’s submission, it will pave way for Mahinda and Chandrika to contest for the third term in the forthcoming Presidential Election.