Apr 10, Colombo: Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) General Secretary parliamentarian Dayasiri Jayasekara says that the party is holding discussions on the opinion of the Supreme Court regarding the date on which President Maithripala Sirisena's term will expire.
Joining a media briefing at the at the SLFP headquarters yesterday (9th), Mr. Jayasekara pointed out that the President could dissolve the government and call for a general election prior to the presidential polls if the Supreme Court declares that the president's term ends on March 16, 2020.
"The Supreme Court was previously questioned whether the President's term of office is five or six years. It has been decided that the term is five years. The problem now is when is that five year term begins and ends," SLFP General Secretary said.
The MP said the constitution clearly states that a bill comes into effect only after the Speaker has granted approval. Accordingly, the Speaker had signed the 19th amendment to the Constitution on the June 22, 2015.
"We cannot pass bills to be effective in the past. Therefore, since a bill has been adopted, it is effective from that day onwards. Therefore, our understanding is that five years from July 21, 2015, a presidential election could be held in June.."
We can go to the Supreme Court to inquire into it. Even the President can. There is a big talk about this among the public and in our party as well. It can be interpreted only by the Supreme Court and the party is holding discussions to decide to go to the Supreme Court in this regard."
"Accordingly, the President will be empowered to dissolve the Parliament after March 16, 2020. If President Sirisena continues to be the President at that time then there will not be any talk about a presidential election. Then a general election is to be held. So time will tackle these issues," the General Secretary said.
He said the President is silent about his views on a presidential candidate since he is a matured leader.