President has only 695 days left in office: CaFFE

  • Makes submissions in Supreme Court to the effect that 19th Amendment curtails President from sitting in office for six years

The Campaign for Free and Fair Elections (CaFFE) yesterday made interventions in the Supreme Court during public submissions on a thorny constitutional question, charging that President Maithripala Sirisena could only function for a period of five years, with his term ending on 8 December 2019, 695 days from today.

Executive Director of CaFFE, Rajith Keerthi Tennakoon, told the Daily FT that attorney-at-law Krishmal Warnasuriya, appearing for CaFFE had made submissions arguing that according to the section 30.1 of the 19th amendment, the President could only sit in office for a maximum period of five years.

“According to the constitution, the President’s term must end on 8 December 2019, as 30 days from the official term end is needed to announce the next Presidential Election. Already 1099 days of his five year term has been completed,”

The 19th amendment to the Constitution limited the term of office of a President to five years. However, the 19th amendment was enacted only after President Maithripala Sirisena was elected President.

Consequently, President Sirsiena has sought the advice of the Supreme Court on whether he could remain in office till 2021, a full six year term.

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