Election of Sri Lanka President has no constitutional effect on PM

ECONOMYNEXT – The election of a new President for Sri Lanka has no effect on the position of Prime Minister under the constitution and he will continue in office until a general election, except under certain specific scenarios, a constitutional lawyer has said.

There are specific scenarios under which a new Prime Minister can be appointed by any Sri Lanka President before the general election.

If parliament passes a vote of no confidence in the government or a budget or statement of policy is rejected by parliament or the Prime Minister ceases to hold office by death, resignation or otherwise, or he ceases to be a member, a new PM can be appointed, lawyer Viran Corea said, in a twitter.com message.

A general election can be called by the new President 4.5 years after the current parliament’s first meeting in September 2015, which falls around March 2020. Before that the parliament can request for a dissolution with a two thirds majority vote.

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, responding to a query at a press conference earlier in the week, as to whether he will still be prime minister after the November Presidential election, said he will be.

Unlike before, after the 19th amendment, the constitution doesn’t allow the President to change the Prime Minister at will.

One of the required prerequisites for a mid-term change in prime minister to be effected being met, is a must for whoever emerges the victor at the upcoming Presidential election to be able to legally do so.

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