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Prez/P’ment terms: Constitutional Amendment approved to dispel doubts

Prez/P’ment terms: Constitutional Amendment approved to dispel doubts

11 Jul 2024 | BY Sumudu Chamara

  • PAFFREL slams move as ‘unnecessary & disruptive’
  • P’ment to debate Prez Poll time frame today

The Cabinet of Ministers has granted approval to prepare a draft Bill relevant to Constitutional reforms for the Amendment of Article 83(b) of the Constitution by substituting the clause “exceeding five years” instead of the clause “exceeding six years”.

The relevant proposal has been submitted to the Cabinet by President Ranil Wickremesinghe in order to remove the doubt about it and to remove any inconsistency regarding the tenure of the President and the tenure of the Parliament in Articles 30(2), 62(2) and 83(b) of the Constitution.

However, pointing out the increasing misuse of State properties and powers to garner votes, the People’s Action for Free and Fair Elections’ (PAFFREL) Executive Director Rohana Hettiarachchi, addressing a press briefing yesterday (10), claimed that the Government is deliberately creating a certain uncertainty about the Presidential Election, especially concerning the President’s tenure, and has already attempted several tactics, which he said have been defeated by the Judiciary. Adding that the Judiciary has said that there is no obstacle to holding the Presidential Election, he cautioned that the plans to go for a constitutional amendment with a focus on the President’s tenure will only create a tense situation in the country. 

“There is no need to go for a constitutional amendment at this juncture targeting the Presidential Election. The Election Commission is ready to hold the Election. The Judiciary has clearly interpreted the (relevant) provisions in the Constitution and has said that the (President’s) tenure is five years. Therefore, there is n0 need to go for an Amendment again,” Hettiarachchi opined.

Meanwhile, a decision has been taken at the party leaders’ meeting to hold an adjournment debate in the Parliament today (11) on a time frame for the Presidential Election.


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