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ECONOMYNEXT — The petition filed in Sri Lanka’s Supreme Court seeking a determination on the term limit of the president has been dismissed by the apex court, media reports said.

A five-judge bench delivered the verdict on the petition Monday July 08 afternoon. The bench was headed by Chief Justice Jayantha Jayasuriya.

Last week, President Ranil Wickremesinghe said he believes the president’s term is five years, expressing his support for holding the presidential election in 2024 and disavowing the aforesaid case filed in the Supreme Court seeking a verdict stating that a president’s term is six years.

“It has come to my attention that Chamindra Dayan Lenawa has filed an application in the Supreme Court, arguing that Article 30(2) should not be considered amended by Section 3 of the 19th Amendment. He requests the Court to declare that the President’s term is six years and to issue an interim order stopping the Election Commission from conducting the Presidential Election in 2024 until a decision is made. Lenawa did not consult me or my lawyers before filing,” Wickremesinghe said in a tweet Thursday July 04 afternoon.

“I firmly believe that the President’s term is five years, and I support the Election Commission’s steps to hold the Presidential Election in 2024,” he said.

Lenawa, an entrepreneur, submitted the petition to the Supreme Court requesting an interpretation of the tenure of the incumbent president according to Sri Lanka’s constitution.

According to media reports, the petitioner has sought a clarification on the exact duration of the president’s term and an interim order to delay the upcoming presidential election until said interpretation is issued.

Wickremesinghe said on Sunday July 07 that the presidential election will be held in 2024 regardless of legal challenges.

“It is declared necessary to hold provincial council elections. However, we have discussed and decided to hold the presidential election first. Regardless of any legal challenges, the presidential election will be held this year. Following that, parliamentary elections will be conducted, and then provincial council elections will be held,” the PMD quoted the president as saying. (Colombo/Jul8/2024)

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