Written by Staff Writer
26 Jan, 2016 | 10:08 pm
At a media briefing at the Government Information Department, questions on the length of the current president’s term in office were raised.
President Maithripala Sirisena was elected to office on January 8,, 2015. At the time the 18th amendment stipulated a maximum term in office of six years for the executive.
President’s Counsel and Minister of Local Government and Provincial Councils, Faizer Musthapha, addressed the question by reading the words of the 19th amendment verbatim. He stated:
“The President of the Republic shall be elected by the People and shall hold office for a term of five years”.
The 19th amendment was passed by parliament with multi-party support, to reduce the powers of the executive including the term in office.
According to PC Mustapha:
When this amendment was passed, His Excellency the President was already in office, and thus according to the Constitution the president was appointed as the Executive President for a six year term.
Specifically stating that he was speaking in legal terms, PC Musthapha said the president could remain in office till the next general election, unless he calls for an early presidential election.
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