Sri Lankan President sought the Supreme Court’s opinion for six-year term

Vastavam web: In an unusual move, Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena has sought the Supreme Court’s opinion if he could be the president for six years, a request which contradicts the amendment he introduced to reduce the presidential term to five years.Sirisena, 66, spearheaded the 19th amendment (19A) to the Constitution in 2015 to prune the presidential term from six to five years.It said the President had requested an opinion which read, “whether in terms of provisions of the Constitution, I as the person elected and succeeding to the office of President and having assumed such office in terms of Article 32 (1) of the Constitution on January 9, 2015, have any impediment to continue in the office of President for a period of 6 years from January 9, 2015”.

The request stands in direct contrast to Sirisena’s action of backing the civil society’s demand to abolish the presidency when he offered to be the Opposition’s common candidate in 2015.Sirisena’s announcement has come amidst the ongoing differences with his coalition partner, the United National Party (UNP) which is headed by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, Sirisena’s main backer in the 2015 election against former President Mahinda Rajapaksa.