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Jayampathi Wickremaratne on President seeking SC opinion on his term of office

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United National Party Parliamentarian Dr. Jayampathi Wickremaratne has observed that having analyzed all the provisions of the Constitution, the SC determined that the Article 30 (2), which reduced the term of the President, is retrospective. There is no reason why the advisors to the President are urging him to again ask the same question from the SC.

He said:

“ The term of Office of the President was reduced to five years from six years by Article 30 (2) of the 19th Amendment. To make it clear, the five-year term would apply to President Sirisena, as the transitional position was included in the Amendment.

The transitional position is in section 49 of the 19th Amendment. It says, “the persons holding office as the President and Prime Minister on the day preceding April 22, 2015 shall continue to hold such office after such date, subject to the provisions of the Constitution as amended by this Act.”

‘As amended by this Act’ is a key phrase which means the old office has been amended subject to the provisions of the 19th Amendment. There was no new President after the 19th Amendment. President Sirisena didn’t take oaths after the 19th Amendment. He continued in office under an amended Constitution. It is clear that the 19th Amendment is retrospective as far as the term of the President is concerned.

The President in January 2018, referred a question for the opinion of the SC. He did not ask the SC, whether his term is five years or six years. What he asked was, whether he can hold office for six years from January 9, 2015."

 

 

 

 

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