In a shocking blow to the supporters of Yahapaalanaya, President Maithripala Sirisena has sought the opinion of the Supreme Court whether he could function as the Executive President until 2021 – 06 years from the day he was elected as the President.
According the 19th Amendment to the constitution, which was introduced a few months after Sirisena assumed office, the term of the President was reduced to five years.
Following the passage of the 19th Amendment, Sirisena boastfully claimed that no other leader in the world had curtailed his powers on his own.
Going back on his own promises, Sirisena has asked the Supreme Court – “Whether, in terms of provisions of the constitution, I, as the person elected and succeeding to the office of President and having assumed such office in terms of Article 32 (1) of the constitution on 09th January 2015, have any impediment to continue in the office of President for a period of 6 years from 09th January 2015, the date on which the results of my election was declared.”
The development has taken place a day after Sirisena suggested to name the newly constructed Rajagiriya flyover after Maduluwawe Sobhitha Thera – the pioneer of the campaign to totally abolish the Executive Presidency. At the funeral of Sobhitha Thera, Sirisena pledged to deliver on his promise to abolish the Executive Presidency in toto.