Op-ed: Term limit provisions of Sri Lankan Constitution apply to presidents who served before amendment

By Professor M.O.A. de Zoysa, 7 September 2018
photo credit: Mahinda Rajapaksa/flickr
photo credit: Mahinda Rajapaksa/flickr
The 19th Amendment passed by the Parliament of Sri Lanka in 2015 has become the talking point in the country. The main reason for this is the manner in which Article 4.2 of the said amendment has been interpreted by the so-called legal luminaries supporting Mahinda Rajapaksa. According to them, the Article 4.2 of the amendment, which clearly states that no person who has been twice elected to the office of President by the people, shall be qualified thereafter to be elected to such office by the people is not applicable to Mahinda Rajapaksa. They make this claim on the basis that this does not apply to former presidents but only to the Presidents who was or will be elected after the amendment was passed. The Rajapaksa supporters, therefore, state that the former President can contest for the Presidency again without a legal hindrance or barrier. When one looks at the argument made by the Rajapaksa supporters, it becomes clear that they make it on the basis of promoting one individual in the hope of regaining power. Further, their whole analysis purely revolves around Mahinda Rajapaksa and nothing else. Hence, a pertinent question one must ask here is whether the Constitution and its legal provisions can be or should be interpreted to promote and satiate one person (or the Rajapaksa supporters) political ambitions.
Read the full article here: Daily News


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