A fresh crisis is brewing with President Maithripala Sirisena opening up new battle lines with the Constitutional Council over the appointment of judges.
Colombo Telegraph exclusively reported that President Sirisena, in a bid to manipulate the judiciary, has refrained from appointing Justice Gamini Amarasekara and S.Thurairajah as Supreme Court judges despite the CC recommending their names.
Without appointing the two judges with unblemished track records, the President has referred two other names, K.K. Wickremesinghe and Deepali Wijesundara, to the CC for approval to be appointed as the Supreme Court judges.
Meanwhile, Mahinda Rajapaksa, the newly-appointed Opposition Leader also attended the Constitutional Council meeting yesterday and supported the President’s move to nominate two new names to the Supreme Court, undermining the authority of the Constitutional Council.
However, the large majority of Constitutional Council members declined to consider the President’s nominations and decided to stick to their guns. As a result, the Constitutional Council’s previous decision on the appointments of the two judges remain unchanged.
Political observers, however, believe that the President’s resistance to the Constitutional Council will give rise to a new crisis in the days to come. They also believe that the President’s actions to undermine the Constitutional Council’s decisions are likely to be challenged in the apex court in January.