By Yohan Perera
United National Party (UNP) Deputy Leader Sajith Premadasa had pledged to back a people’s struggle to prevent the incumbent president from contesting for a third term. Mr. Premadasa who was speaking at a programme organised to distribute drinking water to the drought victims in Hambantota said a people’s struggle is needed to prevent the incumbent president from contesting for the third term and that he will back such a struggle.
Quoting late President J. R. Jayawardene he said it is not worth allowing a person to hold the executive presidency for the third time if he is not able to fulfill what is expected from him during his first and second terms as the president.
Also he said the constitution in the USA had been amended 27 times since 1789 but these amendments have been made to strengthen democracy and people’s power.
Today he said a question has arisen as to whether the present president is able to contest once again or not. He said some constitutional experts had explained that the incumbent president cannot contest for another term as per the Interpretation Ordinance as the 18th Amendment is not valid for the past.
Mr. Premadasa stressed that referring the matter to the Judiciary would not help considering the event in the recent past. In this context he referred to the episode with regard to former Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake whom he said was impeached for not agreeing with the stance of the ruling UPFA on certain matters.
In such a scenario Mr. Premadasa said the best option would be to launch a people’s struggle to prevent any violation of constitution by the present regime.
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