Rajapaksa keen on a third term

Among other things, the 19th Amendment to Sri Lanka’s Constitution, passed three months after Mr. Rajapaksa was unseated in January 2015, revived a clause in the 1978 Constitution that said: “No person who has been twice elected to the office of President by the People, shall be qualified thereafter to be elected to such office by the People.” In effect, the provision reversed what an earlier, Rajapaksa-era legislation made possible. Until recently, the Rajapaksa camp seemed reconciled to his inability to contest presidential polls. His supporters, part of an informal parliamentary coalition called the ‘Joint Opposition’, have for months been mulling different names, including that of former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa, as their candidate for the presidential contest expected to be held end of 2019. However, in an apparent shift in the last fortnight, Mr. Rajapaksa’s supporters — including former Foreign Minister G.L. Peiris, a professor of law — have decided to seek the Supreme Court’s opinion, arguing that the 2015 legislation is not retrospective. Some legal experts have rejected the view, citing the “unambiguous” legislation, but move is likely to raise the political game in the run up to next year’s polls. Mr. Rajapaksa’s former colleague and current political rival, President Maithripala Sirisena, and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe are other likely contestants.

Source : https://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-international/rajapaksa-keen-on-a-third-term/article24733453.ece

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