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President does not have power to remove Prime Minister

The President at his discretion cannot remove the Prime Minister under any circumstances according to the 19th Amendment of the Constitution, Senior Lecturer of the Law Faculty of the University of Colombo Dr. Prathibha Mahanamahewa points out.

He points out that the Prime Minister can be removed only by the Prime Minister sending a letter of resignation with his signature to the President or if the Prime Minister is not a member of parliament.

This is clearly stated in clause 46 (2) of the Constitution states Dr. Mahanamahewa.

Clause 46 (2) of the Constitution states that the Prime Minister shall continue to hold office throughout the period during which the Cabinet of Ministers continues to function under the provisions of the Constitution unless he –

(a) resigns his office by a writing under his hand addressed to the President; or;

(b) ceases to be a Member of Parliament.

A group of civil organizations plans to go to courts on Monday to find out the response of the Supreme Court with regard to the President removing the Prime Minister, the state radio said.

Meanwhile, Joint Opposition MP Kumara Welgama told media that the President Maithripala Sirisena has promised to look into the legal avenues to remove the Prime Minister.

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