Sri Lankan court rules on president's second term

20:37, February 02, 2010      

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Sri Lanka's Supreme Court on Tuesday ruled that President Mahinda Rajapaksa's second term in office will commence on Nov. 19, 2010.

Presidential officials said the court's advisory ruling was in response to a query made by Rajapaksa following his landslide victory in last week's presidential election.

Rajapaksa called the election two years early, a move to cash in on his popularity following his successful military campaign which ended Tamil Tiger rebels' three-decade-old rebellion.

Legal experts differ in their opinion on the commencement of Rajapaksa's second term. 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.

With Tuesday's ruling his term would now be limited to further seven years rather than eight years.

Source: Xinhua
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