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President’s term is five years – Supreme Court

Conveying its decision on the reference made by the President, the Supreme Court of Sri Lanka has said that President Maithripala Sirisena’s term in office is five years.

The Supreme Court has conveyed the opinion that the President’s term of office is five years, the PMD confirmed.

The Supreme Court arrived at this opinion after the President sought its opinion with regard to the term of office of the incumbent President.

On reference made by President Maithripala Sirisena, Chief Justice Priyasath Dep appointed a five-judge bench on January 10, to decide whether the President’s term is five or six years.

The Supreme Court held an open court hearing to decide whether the President’s term is five or six years on January 11.

Meanwhile the President’s Media Division, issuing a statement, said that two different views have been expressed in legal, civil and political circles about the duration of the term of Presidency after the enactment of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution.

“In order to dispel this confusion, the President has sought the opinion of the Supreme Court regarding the actual term of office.”

According to the powers vested on the President under the Constitution, the President has the right to seek the opinion of the Supreme Court, it said, adding, that the former Presidents who held office had also sought the opinion of the Supreme Court during their tenures.

“It is a significant feature in the constitutions of democratic governance.”

Chief Justice Priyasath Dep yesterday appointed a five-judge bench the reference application forwarded by the President seeking an opinion whether it is constitutional for him to serve for a period of six years in the office of President.

The matter was taken up before a Supreme Court five-judge-bench comprising Chief Justice Priyasath Dep, Justice Eva Wanasundara, Justice Buwaneka Aluvihare, Justice Sisira de Abrew and Justice K.T. Chitrasiri.

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