Changes of the term of President would be an alienation of the sovereignty of the people

Published: 06:44 GMT, Jan 12, 2018 |

Attorney General President’s Counsel Jayantha Jayasuriya said that, any changes of the term of 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 would be an alienation of the sovereignty of the people.

“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.

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