SC says Mahinda can contest a third term

11_rakapaksa_r_w_LRGThe Supreme Court (SC) has determined that President Mahinda Rajapaksa can contest for a third term in office, Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva informed Parliament today.

He said that according to the determination of the court, which had been communicated to the President, there is no legal barrier preventing the President from holding an election after 4 years in office or seeking a third term.

The Supreme Court decision on whether President Mahinda Rajapaksa can contest for a third term was dispatched to the President last afternoon by a full Bench of Supreme Court Judges.

The Supreme Court Bench comprised Chief Justice Mohan Pieris PC, Justice K. Sripavan, Justice Chandra Ekanayake, Justice Priyasath Dep PC, Justice Eva Wanasundara, Justice Rohini Marasinghe, Justice B.P. Aluvihara, Justice Sisira de Abrew, Justice Sarath de Abrew and Justice Priyantha Jayawardena PC.

Earlier, the President sought a determination from the Supreme Court whether he has any impediment to be elected to the office of President for a further term by appealing to the people for a mandate after his second term in office. The matter was taken up for consideration by a full Bench of judges presided over by Chief Justice Mohan Peiris.

The President sought a determination whether he, in terms of Article 31 of the Constitution as amended by the 18th Amendment which was passed in Parliament in September 2010, has any impediment after the expiration of four years from the date of commencement of his second term in office on the 19th of November 2010 to declare by proclamation his intention of appealing to the people for a mandate to hold office as President by election for a further term.

He asked the court to determine whether in terms of the provisions of the Constitution, he as the incumbent President serving his second term of office on the date the 18th Amendment was enacted has any impediment to be elected for a further term in office.

Rajapaksa won the 2010 January elections when he sought office for a second term but took oaths only in November 2010, two months after the 18th Amendment was passed in parliament. Under the 18th Amendment a President can seek office for more than two terms. (Colombo Gazette)