Speaking to media at the SLPP head office, SLPP Chairman Prof. G.L. Peiris said his party is preparing to file a case against the President before the Supreme Court if he attempts to delay the Presidential Election, which are likely to be held by the end of this year.
Responding to media reports published over the weekend the SLPP Chairman insisted a second clarification on the end of the President’s term would delay a chance for the people to exercise their franchise. Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) General Secretary Dayasiri Jayasekera told media several months ago President Sirisena may seek a fresh clarification from the Supreme Court on when his term will end.
“The President is trying all sorts of things to extend his term, which we cannot accept as this will hinder the democratic rights of the people,” said Prof. Peiris. He claimed President Sirisena’s recent criticism on the 19th Amendment was an attempt to extend his term.
“President Sirisena was the one who took the lead to bring the 19th Amendment in the first place but now he claims that he was not aware of the true extent of its power. It is clear why he is doing this, he is just trying to find loopholes in the 19th Amendment to extend his term.”
Prof. Peiris advocated that the public, including President Sirisena respect the opinion of the Supreme Court, which has already said the President’s term has been reduced to five years. He claimed the SLPP had received confidential inside information that another attempt will be made to seek the Supreme Court’s opinion.
“This is a well-planned attempt, the current Chief Justice was the previous Attorney General who went to the Supreme Court on behalf of the President, to seek its opinion on the length of his term. Therefore, we have a genuine concern that there could be an attempt to extend the President’s term.”
He also went on to say that an election is the only way to resolve the current impasse between the President and the Prime Minister.