Sri Lankan Supreme Court to issue opinion on Rajapaksa's second term

21:47, February 01, 2010      

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Sri Lankan Supreme Court will convey its opinion to President Mahinda Rajapaksa soon on the date of the commencement of Rajapaksa's second term, presidential officials said on Monday.

Rajapaksa who called for an early presidential election two years ahead of his first term to capitalize on the war victory against Tamil Tiger rebels recorded a remarkable victory in the presidential election last week with a lead of 1.8 million votes against his main competitor former Army Commander General Sarath Fonseka.

Officials from the Presidential Secretariat said Rajapaksa consulted the Supreme Court before he takes oaths for the second term.

Legal experts differ in their opinion on the matter. One section of the constitutional pundits is of the view that the second term of the re-elected president would have to commence within a reasonable period after the mandate of the people.

Another section believes that since Rajapaksa was duly elected as the president for a six year term in November 2005, he is entitled to complete his first term and then take fresh oath on the basis of the latest endorsement from the people.

Meanwhile, government sources said the president has called an immediate meeting with parliamentary group of the ruling coalition United People's Freedom Alliance Monday evening.

They said several key decisions including the dissolution of the present parliament would be taken at the first such meeting held after the presidential election.

The next parliamentary election will have to be held before April and the parliament would be dissolved most probably on Friday, government sources said.

Source: Xinhua
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