JVP vehemently opposes President seeking a third term


by Dasun Edirisinghe

The JVP said yesterday it would think of the presidential election only after the government made an official announcement to that effect, but the incumbent President Mahinda Rajapaksa was not eligible to contest a third term as he was appointed for the second term under the relevant provisions in the 1978 Constitution.

"We will announce our presidential candidate and prepare for the election once it is announced, but at present we are only fighting against Rajapaksa’s endeavour to seek a third term," JVP Propaganda Secretary Vijitha Herath said.

He said that President Rajapaksa had been elected for the second term on Jan. 26, 2010, but the 18th Amendment to the Constitution had been on September 09, 2011.

"According to the 1978 Constitution a person elected for a second term as the President cannot contest for a third term and the 18th Amendment was passed after Rajapaksa had been elected for the second term," Herath maintained.

The Gampaha District MP said that even former President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga could not contest a future presidential election though the Constitution had been amended to allow someone to be the President for more than two terms.

Herath said that those who were elected president after Sep. 09, 2011 were eligible to contest for a third term or more.

"Already former Chief Justice Sarath. N. Silva has explained it and he is ready to go to court if Rajapaksa decides to contest," he said.

Herath said President Rajapaksa had sought and obtained a popular mandate in 2005 to abolish the Executive Presidency. Once again he had promised in the Mahinda Chinthanaya Idiri Dekma to abolish the executive presidency during his second term, but he had reneged on his promises to the people.

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