Petition against Elections Commissioner refused

[TamilNet, Thursday, 16 December 1999, 04:18 GMT]
The Supreme Court, on Wednesday, refused an application by a voter from Chunnakam, Jaffna, Balasubramaniam Vasanthan, seeking a declaration directing the Acting Elections Commissioner to conduct the Presidential Polls not prematurely on December 21 but on the due date specified in the Constitution.

The Bench comprised Chief Justice Sarath N.Silva Justice Priyantha Perera and Justice Thiranie Bandaranayaka.

Attorney at Law A. S. M. Perera supported the petition.

The Supreme Court refused to grant leave to proceed.

The application stated that President Chanrika Kumaratunga made a proclamation declaring her intention to seek a mandate for a further period. Consequent to that the commissioner of Elections declared November 16 as the date for the acceptance of the nominations and December 21as the date of election.

The application continued that the President had stated that the objective of the holding of the premature poll was to solve the ethnic issue by enacting a new constitution and that the resolution of the ethnic issue is impeded by the present constitution which requires a two third majority.

The President has also said the present constitution is ridiculous and that she needed a mandate from the people to abolish the monstrous constitution, according to the petition.

If the President acts lawfully she can pass the new constitution with a two third majority or present it at a Referendum. However she has not sought a lawful measure to enact a constitution, the application continued.

The application argued that the President had taken an oath under the constitution to uphold the constitution. The present statements of the President are contrary to the oath.

She has declared for a presidential poll ahead of the due date for the election to be decided by a majority Sinhala Buddhists in an area other than the north and east and therefore it is legally flawed, argued the petition.

The petition against the third respondent was on the grounds that he, who had not been serving in the Election Department was appointed acting Commissioner of Elections while competent persons were available in the department, creating a suspicion.

The petition sought an order by the Supreme Court to direct the Elections Commissioner to hold the Presidential Poll on a date stipulated by law.

 

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