Written by Bella Dalima
29 Sep, 2014 | 9:08 pm
Speaking at an event held in Kandy on Monday, Cabinet Spokesperson, Minister Keheliya Rambukwella, indicated that a Presidential Election could be held as early as January next year.
He said; [quote]The President has arrived at a decision that following the completion of four years. He will exercise his constitutional right as per the provisions in the constitution. Therefore, an election can be held. If that happens, the election will most probably be in January. A decision will be made. The Central Committee is meeting today.[/quote]
Chapter 7 of the Constitution details the provisions of the Executive Presidency. As per the Constitution of 1978, the Executive President has a term of six years.
The original constitution also notes that the President can serve a maximum of two terms. However, in September 2010, the 18th Amendment was introduced removing the limitation on the number of terms the President can run for office.
The 18th Amendment also gives the incumbent President the power to obtain a mandate from the people once again, four years after the commencement of his term.
The 18th Amendment notes that such a request for a mandate is an order for the Elections Commissioner to conduct a Presidential election.
On January 26, 2010, President Mahinda Rajapaksa requested a mandate from the people once again, four years after his term commenced. Although the election was held on January 26, the President only took oaths for his second term on November 19, 2010.
According to a previous determination by the Supreme Court, the President’s second term commenced on November 19 of November 2010. According to the 18th Amendment, the President can request a mandate from the people once again, after midnight on November 19 this year.
Senior Lawyer, Attorney-at-Law Gomin Dayasri said:
[quote]While it removed the term limitation on any candidate hoping to contest the Presidential Election, they are also now able to limit the term to four years and go for an election not only in the first term but in any subsequent term. It has also given the opportunity for an incumbent President to call for a Presidential Election when it is most suitable for them.[/quote]
When News 1st made inquiries, Elections Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya noted, that he is yet to be informed on a date for the Presidential Election.
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