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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2954

No more Referendums in Sri Lanka - Sri Lanka President turned down the proposal

By Our Colombo Correspondent

Colombo, 03 June, ( Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa fresh from a historic victory over terrorism has turned down a proposal by a section of his cabinet to hold a referendum to extend the life of Parliament and to marry the second Presidential Election due in 2011 to that referendum as the people were now in favour of Rajapaksa following the victory over LTTE terrorism, highly placed authoritative sources disclosed today.

Sources said that the President has told the proposers that he would not follow any undemocratic methods to extend the life of his government nor wished to hold Referendums instead of democratic elections."I know the people love the country and me and I don't fear to face elections', the President has stressed.

The current term of the President ends in 20011 November. If he decides to go for an early presidential election after completing four years this November, under Clause 4 of Article 35 of the Constitution, the President could take oaths in 2011 as there is provision for the incumbent President to be in office till the next President takes oath. If the next President takes oath within two weeks of the next presidential election, then the fresh term of office would be counted from that date.

The life of the present Parliament ends in April 2010 and it stands dissolved by that day and fresh Parliamentary election would be held within three months.

The only President to use the provision of a Referendum as enshrined in the Constitution was the first executive, President JR Jayewardene.

Jayewardene made that move to continue his five sixth majority gained at the 1977 general election till he retired in in 1989.

He also went for an early Presidential election in 1982 immediately upon completing four years in the office of President.

- Asian Tribune -

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