Thursday, 07 November 2019 06:16

JVP objects to President’s Counsels’ appointment

The Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) yesterday wrote to the Election Commission objecting to a move by the President’s Office to appoint new President’s Counsels prior to the end of the term of the current President, requesting the Commission to intervene and suspend the process until the upcoming Presidential Election had ended.

JVP MP Bimal Ratnayake, in his letter, said that less than two weeks after new guidelines were issued for the appointment of PCs, the President’s Office had called for applications to be submitted by eligible candidates from the legal profession by today. “This is a totally unprecedented move by the President’s Secretary to have a set of politically-biased attorneys-at-law appointed with a view to get their services for the election campaign in favour of one candidate. This amounts to a gross abuse of the letter and spirit of the guidelines agreed upon in the Supreme Court, if not blatant bribery and corruption,” the JVP MP said in the letter released to the media. The letter said that not enough publicity had been given to the process by the President’s Secretary and it was shrouded in secrecy. As a result, it was depriving attorneys, particularly those from outstation regions, of the chance to apply, as documents, including certified copies obtained from Court as proof of their eligibility, had to accompany their applications, which was difficult to accomplish within seven days.

The MP asserted that the only way such an unbelievable feat could have been accomplished at such a speed was if those set to be appointed as President’s Counsels had already been selected in order to secure their political loyalty and guarantees of campaigning in favour of one candidate.

(FT)

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