President's term covers six years | Page 2 | Daily News
Attorney General Jayantha Jayasuriya PC says:

President's term covers six years

Constitutions cannot be amended with retrospective effect:
No provision in 19A for this:

The incumbent President who was elected on January 8, 2015 had assumed duties in the office of President on January 9, 2015 for a period of six years. Any changes of the term of President would be an alienation of the sovereignty of the people, Attorney General President’s Counsel Jayantha Jayasuriya said.

“There is no provisions in the 19th Amendment to operate same with retrospective effect. Constitutions cannot be amended with retrospective effect,” the Attorney General said making submissions on a determination sought by President Maithripala Sirisena from the Supreme Court as regards the duration of the term of his presidency.

The Supreme Court yesterday concluded arguments put forward in support and against the reference application forwarded by President Sirisena seeking an opinion whether it is constitutional for him to serve for a period of six years in the office of President and all parties in the application were directed to file their written submissions by today (12).

Later on, the Supreme Court’s determination over the reference application is to be communicated to the President before January 14.

Attorney General Jayantha Jayasuriya PC yesterday informed the Supreme Court that people had exercised their sovereignty through the right of franchise to elect President Maithripala Sirisena to the office of President for a period of six years prior to the operation of 19th Amendment to the Constitution.

Meanwhile, President’s Counsel Manohara de Silva appearing for an intervenient petitioner informed the Supreme Court that President’s term should be confined to five years in accordance with the 19th Amendment to the constitution. “The President in his website also insisted that he would like to limit his term of office. He agreed to have it for five years,”Counsel stated.

Seven intervenient petitioners filed their papers and made oral submissions regarding the President’s reference.

Chief Justice Priyasath Dep had nominated a fuller Bench comprising five judges of the Supreme Court to hear the reference application forwarded by President Maithripala Sirisena.

The matter was taken up before a Supreme Court five-judge-bench comprising Chief Justice Priyasath Dep, Justice Eva Wanasundara, Justice Buwaneka Aluvihare, Justice Sisira de Abrew and Justice K.T. Chitrasiri.

President Maithripala Sirisena, in terms of Article 129 (1) of the Constitution, has referred to the Supreme Court the following question for consideration and for an opinion to be submitted to the President on or before January 14, 2018.

“Whether, in terms of Provisions of the Constitution, I, as the person elected and succeeding to the office of President and having assumed such office in terms of Article 32(1) of the Constitution on January 9 2015, have any impediment to continue in the office of President for a period of six years from January 9 2015, the date on which the result of my election to the office of President was declared”.

President’s Counsel Saliya Peiris, Manohara de Silva PC, Ali Sabry PC, Faiz Musthapha PC, Senior Counsel Kalyananda Thiraanagama, Senior Court Chrismal Warnasuriya appeared for the intervenient petitioners. 

 


 

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