The Supreme Court yesterday communicated its opinion to President Mahinda Rajapaksa on the constitutionality of contesting for a third term under the 18th Amendment to the Constitution.
A ten-judge bench comprising Chief Justice Mohan Peiris, Justice K. Sripavan, Justice Chandra Ekanayake, Justice Priyasath Dep, Justice Eva Wansundera, Justice Rohini Marasinghe, Justice Buwaneka Aluwihare, Justice Sisira J de Abrew, Justice Sarath de Abrew and Justice Priyantha Jayawardena had taken up for consideration the written submissions filed by various individuals and parties.
Supreme Court sources said Justice Saleem Marsoof was not present on the bench as he was away on an official overseas tour.
They said the Supreme Court had received more than 35 written submissions by 3.00 p.m. last Friday (7). Among the individuals who filed written submissions were: Prime Minister D.M. Jayaratne, Attorney-At-Law Gomin Dayasiri, Prof. Kshanika Hirimburegama, Dr. Ajith Pathirana, Attorney-At-Law Anoma Gunatilleke, Prof. Sampath Bandara Amaratunga, President’s Counsel Romesh de Silva, President’s Counsel Kuvera de Silva, Dr. Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu, Dr. N.L.A. Karunaratne, Attorney-At-Law Sunil Watagala, Attorney-At-Law Upul Kumarapperuma, Ravaya Editor Attorney-At-Law K.W. Janaranjana and Attorney-At-Law J.C. Weliamuna.
President Mahinda Rajapaksa had sought the Supreme Court’s opinion on the constitutionality of contesting for a third term under the 18th Amendment to the Constitution in terms of the Article 129 of the constitution.
The reference sent to the Supreme Court was as follows:
(a) Whether in terms of Article 31 (3A) (a) (1) of the Constitution, as amended by the 18th Amendment, I as the incumbent President, serving my second term of office as President, have any impediment, after the expiration of four years from the date of commencement of my second term of office as President on November 19, 2010, to declare by Proclamation my intention of appealing to People for a mandate to hold office as President by election, for a future term.
(b) Whether in terms of the provisions of the Constitution, as amended by the 18th Amendment, I, as the incumbent President, serving my second term of office as President, and was functioning as such on the date of the 18th Amendment was enacted, have any impediment to be elected for a further term of office”.(Lakmal Sooriyagoda)