SC of Sri Lanka gave nod for third term to President Mahinda Rajapaksa
Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa can be re-elected for third term, as there is no legal or constitutional barrier preventing him from doing so.
Sri Lanka’s Supreme Court on 11 November 2014 gave nod to President Mahinda Rajapaksa to stand for third term as President. The Court in its decision said that there is no legal barrier preventing the President to stand for a third six-year term.
Further, SC noted that President can declare snap presidential election after he completes 4 years in office.
Supreme Court’s response comes to a request made by President to clarify the legal position in the light of the 18th Constitutional Amendment.
President Rajapaksa’s decision to seek legal clarity from SC came after his decision to go for a third term was publicly questioned by former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court Sarath Silva.
Even Sri Lanka’s Bar Association also had argued that even though the 18th Amendment allowed third term for the President but still he cannot stand for a third term without a parliamentary vote to make scrapping the two-term limit retrospective. It would then have to be approved by a referendum.
Rajapaksa was elected as President on 27 January 2010 before the Constitutional amendment and before amendment there was a limit of two terms for a President.
The 18th Amendment was enacted on 9 September 2010, while, Rajapaksa took his oath as President on 19 November 2010 and his second term of office began only on the day he took his oath.