The Supreme Court of Sri Lanka on Tuesday ruled that the second term of President Mahinda Rajapaksa, re-elected on January 26, would begin from November 19, 2010.
Accordingly, Rajapaksa has to take oath within two weeks of November 19 when his second term begins.
Rajapaksa was first elected President on November 19, 2005, for the regulation six-year-period. But he called for a Presidential election two years ahead of the end of his first term to capitalise on military victory against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). Last week, he won the election with a margin of over 1.8 million votes against main contender former army chief Sarath Fonseka.
The Court’s Tuesday ruling essentially means that Rajapaksa would get only five of six years of his first term and the full six years starting November 19 2010 for the duration of his second tenure. The next Presidential election would be due on or before November 19, 2016.
A seven judge Bench of the Supreme Court on Monday took up the reference made by Rajapaksa seeking the opinion on the question as to when his second term of office as President would begin and end.