Sri Lanka Supreme Court gives nod to Mahinda Rajapaksa for third time contest
The Supreme Court of Sri Lanka has given nod to President Mahinda Rajapaksa to contest for third term as President. Sri Lankan President’s decision to go for a third term was publicly questioned by former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court Sarath Silva, on the grounds that he was elected President for the second term before the enactment of the 18th constitutional amendment, which removed the cap on the number of times an incumbent President could contest.
Retired Justice Silva’s contention was that Rajapaksa had contested and won the election on January 27, 2010, prior to the enactment of the 18th Amendment, at a time when there was a limit of two terms. And a President’s term begins on the day he gets elected. Therefore, Rajapaksa could not bid for a third term.
Sri Lanka’s Supreme Court decision
The Court in its decision mentioned that there is no legal barrier preventing the President to stand for a third six-year term.
Mahinda Rajapaksa was elected asSri Lanka President on 27 January 2010 before the Constitutional amendment which limited term for President to two. The 18th Amendment was enacted on 9th September 2010, while, Rajapaksa took his oath as President on 19th November 2010 and his second term of office began only on the day he took his oath.