Tue, 16 Apr 2024 Today's Paper

Ex-Parliament Secy. Gen responds to Sajith over RW

Says Current President has a valid constitutional mandate to hold the position

21 April 2023 11:03 am - 23     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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With reference to the comments by Opposition Leader Sajith Premadasa on the legitimacy of the mandate of President Ranil Wickremesinghe to hold that office and the demand for a Presidential election to seek a fresh mandate, Former Parliament Secretary General Priyanee Wijesekera has responded with the following facts.

“Our Constitution, by article 40 provides for a process of succession in the event of a vacancy occurring in the post of Executive President. This provision was used previously when the late D. B. Wijetunga was elected by the Parliament following the assassination of President R. Premadasa. On that occasion there was not a hum of protest and in fact the then Leader of the Opposition Mrs. Sirimavo Bandaranaike fully supported the move.

“Even under the previous Constitution of 1947 it was legitimate for Mrs. Bandaranaike to be appointed as Prime Minister from the Senate. Thus she too was not elected by popular election. Furthermore in the current situation we should remember that even the present opposition accepted the validity of the provision in Article 40 when they nominated Mr .Dulles Allahapperuma to challenge Mr. Ranil Wickremasinghe's candidature. Therefore it should be accepted that the current President holds a valid constitutional mandate to hold the position.

Furthermore when calling for the holding of a Presidential election prematurely, attention should be drawn to Article 31(3a)e of the Constitution which states that a person who succeeds to the post of Executive President is not entitled to call for a fresh mandate after 4 years in office,” Ms. Wijesekera said.

“It should be clear to everyone that a popular mandate at the elections is no guarantee of the ability of the winner to handle the job. This was amply demonstrated by Mr. Gotabhaya Rajapakse’s resignation in acceptance of that fact. Democracy is based on Constitutional government and the rule of law, not mass hysteria,” she pointed out.


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  Comments - 23

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  • Sri Friday, 21 April 2023 11:21 AM

    You can twists the letter of the constitution as you like....the interpretation to the constitution differ person to person...when you are in power you can talk as you like ..Now Ranil has power so he can use you to speak for him and on behalf of him. Let us see what free and independent judges and experts say about your interpretation

    Sri Wickrema Friday, 21 April 2023 12:22 PM

    Diplomatic post on the way.

    Ravi Wijesinghe Friday, 21 April 2023 12:47 PM

    Most ironic line "Democracy is based on Constitutional government and the rule of law, not mass hysteria,”. We everyday see how democracy and rule of law is maintained everyday.

    D Bandara Friday, 21 April 2023 01:08 PM

    I love how she refers to people mandate and democracy as "Mass hysteria". While we are at it, why not rename more things like that? We can call parliament a comedians club, constitution an old book for wrapping peanuts and Kandy perahera a fancy dress parade..

    Lafir Friday, 21 April 2023 02:06 PM

    Well said honourable Mrs. Priyani. How come the opposition leader makes comments not knowing the constitutional principle and procedures makes such stupid ignorant comments. Ask him if he is fit got enough committment to be opposition leader besides the oredudebtsl candidate. vindtvoitu

    L Jaya Friday, 21 April 2023 02:08 PM

    What a flimsy analysis. Rw is a stranger awith no mandate, a person totally rejected by voters

    Zaza Friday, 21 April 2023 02:24 PM

    Former Parliament Secretary General Priyanee Wijesekera’s stand sounds good purely from the point of Law. According to most people what comes out of parliament is regarded as law and does not matter whether it is logically right, morally correct, and ethically sound. The horse-trading inside the Parliament to amend certain laws beneficial to certain men are well known. Take for example the position of present President Ranil – an enigma wrapped up in mystery. He contested the Parliamentary election and lost his seat – (which means his electorate rejected him), yet he entered the Parliament through the back door (which means win or lose- you win – sounds like a comedy of errors) , by a twist of destiny (flawed Law) he ended up as the President of the Country replacing Gothabaya who got a whopping 69 lakhs of the votes. Gothbaya contested on SLPP manifesto while Ranil contested on UNP manifesto. Now that Ranil is occupying Gothabaya’s seat whose manifesto he is supposed to implement.

    Cherath Friday, 21 April 2023 04:34 PM

    Constitutionally , we can agree that what had taken place since the Gotabaya resignation is correct . But that shouldn't and couldn't hide the glaring injustice and discrimination upon the people , when the new appointee (who by the way is from a rival party, unlike Wijetunga who was from the same party of Premadasa) carries out policies of HIS OWN PARTY, the UNP after his appointment as President , most likely at least until the next Presidential election. Where is the democracy , and ethical responsibility in that? And he is under no obligation to the people of SL, who did not for HIM.

    Voter Friday, 21 April 2023 05:10 PM

    Ex SG of Parliament looks a Ranil 's supporter.

    Malij Friday, 21 April 2023 06:11 PM

    The 38th President of USA Gerald Ford was not even elected as the V. President. Nixon appointed him as the VP

    Dana Friday, 21 April 2023 06:31 PM

    While the appointment may be constitutionally correct, the difference between the two previous occasions mentioned and the present one is Ms Bandaranaike

    Lanka Boy Friday, 21 April 2023 07:48 PM

    Well said Madam. SP is absolutely mad and does not know what he is talking about! RW is here to stay

    Dilshan Perera Friday, 21 April 2023 09:06 PM

    Ranil shows no signs of constitutional governance or any rule of law..

    Dan Friday, 21 April 2023 09:49 PM

    Whether one likes the man or otherwise, RW is doing a much better job than past leaders. This has been amply demonstrated during serious circumstances that faced Sri Lanka. A majority of people, though may not publicly say it, sees it and accepts it. As for SP, I won't give him even a ministerial portfolio considering the actions I have seen so far.

    Bernard Jayatilake Saturday, 22 April 2023 12:29 AM

    Constitutionally correct but if you consider it out of the box, one was appointed the Prime Minister (executive) as her party was voted to power with a people's mandate and the latter became the Executive President thru Parliament by manority votes as that political party held a massive majority given by the voter at the previous election and the present scenario is different and has made democracy a mockery by electing a person whose party having being routed at the elections became as the acceptable candidate for the majority party members of parliament instead of one of their candidates due to pure political considerations and expediency.

    Jude Saturday, 22 April 2023 08:33 AM

    Hey priyanee you're defending a person who don't have a single Bone of sincerity in his body!! RANIL'S popularity is in single digits and his party REDUCED to single MP. what it's mean is 95% of Lankans reject him as a leader!! Priyanee RANIL helped you become who you are, now you're returning the favour!! You were just a lawyer and Ranil appointed you to UNP working committee and it created controversy And other than staunch supporter of RANIL what's your qualifications to get diplomatic postings, huh!!???

    Anton Weerasinghe Saturday, 22 April 2023 09:26 AM

    Politicians without the basic knowledge are trying to become the rulers of this country.

    Philemon Sanmuganathan Saturday, 22 April 2023 10:53 AM

    Late honourable Mr DBW and Mrs SB were MPs elected by a democratic process. Mr RW is appointed by a party on national list.

    Citizens Saturday, 22 April 2023 11:15 AM

    Very well explained, Indeed. Hope sajith is able to understand....

    JAY Saturday, 22 April 2023 12:19 PM

    RW's uncle's constitution is the worst in the world. Constitution during Bandaranayake's was not better either to quote as a good example. Anyway people are aware of the ground situation regarding RW'ss popularity.

    Adwani Saturday, 22 April 2023 03:56 PM

    So Madam, what can you expect from a person who, when invited failed to takeover and now lacking the basic knowledge in constitution. He is another acrobat in Parliament.

    GamRala Saturday, 22 April 2023 06:41 PM

    Well said. Democracy is unsuitable for Sri Lankans because they are ignorant and have a low intelligence.

    Zaza Sunday, 23 April 2023 01:16 AM

    Most views expressed are self-point of views. We are not talking of personalities but systems. Defaulting a maniac system cannot be right because my man is in power. Let us think in the larger interest of the Nation. A total system change is necessary. The executive Presidential system must go. A lunatic Electoral system must go. Let there be accountability, transparency, and meritocracy in the political system.


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