The Constitutional Council has declined to endorse the nomination of Court of Appeal President Nissanka Bandula Karunaratne as a Supreme Court judge by President Ranil Wickremesinghe triggering him to be on a collision course with the parliamentary body, Daily Mirror learns.
The President and the CC are now on a warpath because presidential nominees to key positions are rejected.
Previously, the President faced an issue in getting service exemptions granted to former Inspector General of Police C.D. Wickramaratne approved by the CC.
The CC is a ten-member body chaired by Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena. Opposition Leader Sajith Premadasa and Prime Minister Dinesh Gunawardane are the other two ex-officio members.
Besides, it is represented by the Prime Minister’s nominee, the Opposition Leader’s nominee and the President’s nominee. Besides, three slots are reserved for members from civil society. One seat is meant for the representative of the minority parties. However, it has not been filled yet.
Daily Mirror learns that only the Prime Minister, the President’s nominee Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva and Prime Minister’s nominee Sagara Kariyawasam stand for the President’s decisions. With the denial of majority support, the President has found it difficult to execute his decisions.
It appeared that this prompted him to issue a statement on Wednesday critical of the latest development.
A statement from the President’s Media Division (PMD) said, “The President of the Republic of Sri Lanka under Article 4(b) of the Constitution is the organ of government through which the executive power of the People including the Defence of Sri Lanka is exercised.
The President as the head of the executive is duty-bound to make certain appointments to high offices, including the Inspector General of Police, according to the procedure stipulated by the Constitution and in line with the President’s Constitutional duty to exercise powers pertaining to the Defence of Sri Lanka.
Therefore, the President must perform his Constitutional duties without any impediment or interference. Under Article 41C of the Constitution, the appointment of the Inspector General of Police is carried out subsequent to a recommendation made by the President to the Constitutional Council, and on the approval of such recommendation by the Constitutional Council.
Any restraint placed on the President in the performance of his Constitutional duty would be in contravention of the Constitution. If the President exercises his powers contrary to the Constitution, the remedies available have been provided for in the Constitution itself.”
The President is now seeking to refer the matter to Parliament.