Against the backdrop of the recent political crisis, the Constitutional Council (CC) and President Maithripala Sirisena are reported to be on a collision course over the appointments of judges to the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeal.
The President has refrained from appointing Justice Gamini Amarasekara and S.Thurairajah as Supreme Court judges despite the CC recommending their appointment. The CC recommended these two names out of those submitted by the President on October 25.
Instead of appointing them, the President has referred two other names -- K.K. Wickremesinghe and Deepali Wijesundara – to the CC for approval to be appointed as the Supreme Court judges. Meanwhile, the President had refrained from appointing Judge K.P. Fernando to the Court of Appeal despite being recomended by the CC.
The CC which met yesterday decided to stick to its recommendations despite the President’s refusal to appoint them and it refused to consider another nominee by the President to the post of the President of the Court of Appeal.
The CC is ten-member body chaired by Speaker Karu Jayasuriya. The Prime Minister and the Opposition Leader are its members by virtue of their office. Opposition Leader Mahinda Rajapaksa attended the CC meeting by virtue of his office. He, his representative and the President’s representative at the CC, supported the names suggested by the President for judicial appointments. However, the majority opposed to it. (Kelum Bandara)