South Asia

Rajapaksa seeks court opinion for third term in office

Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa at his residence studies the report from a commission that investigated alleged wartime abuses during the country's civil war, in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2011. The President will present the report to the parliament in December, President's spokesman Bandula Jayasekara said. The government appointed the commission last year under intense international pressure to report on the conflict in the final stages of the war. (AP Photo/Gemunu Amarasinghe)

Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa at his residence studies the report from a commission that investigated alleged wartime abuses during the country's civil war, in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2011. The President will present the report to the parliament in December, President's spokesman Bandula Jayasekara said. The government appointed the commission last year under intense international pressure to report on the conflict in the final stages of the war. (AP Photo/Gemunu Amarasinghe)   | Photo Credit: Gemunu Amarasinghe

The Sri Lankan President is expected to announce his intention to hold the election a year before the schedule in January next year.

Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa has sought Supreme Court’s opinion on his eligibility to contest for a record third term in office by holding a snap presidential election.

Mr Rajapaksa, in a letter, has asked the apex court to provide a determination on or before November 10 on whether there is any impediment to him being elected for a further term in office, Sri Lankan media reported on Wednesday.

Mr. Rajapaksa is expected to announce his intention to hold the election a year before the schedule in January next year.

The proclamation may be issued after November 18 when he would complete four years in office.

The Supreme Court opinion will be keenly awaited as opposition campaign has already gone underway.

The opposition Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) based on the opinion of a former chief justice has dubbed Mr. Rajapaksa’s third term attempt as illegal.

Mr. Rajapaksa is keen to hold the snap election to minimise the effect of anti-incumbency and to gain advantage over the fragmented opposition.

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Printable version | Feb 18, 2020 8:41:41 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/south-asia/mahinda-rajapaksa-seeks-court-opinion-for-third-term-in-office/article6567668.ece

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