යෝජිත නව ආණ්ඩුක්‍රම ව්‍යවස්ථාව (Third Republic Constitution) Chapter XII

 CHAPTER XII

 

THE PRESIDENT OF SRI LANKA AND THE VICE PRESIDENT

 

50.       There shall be a President (PR) of the Republic of Sri Lanka who shall be the head of the State, the head of the Executive, and the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces.

51.       (1)The President shall be appointed by State Assembly and shall hold office for four years or until a new State Assembly assemble after the conclusion of a General Election and so appoints a new President, whichever comes first;

 

       Provided that if the tenure of President expires whilst a General Election is being held, President shall still continue to hold office until such election concludes and a new president is appointed as per the provisions of Article 52.

(2) President, upon the assumption of office, shall cease to hold any other office or position in the government, and shall not hold any directorship or any managerial position in any business or organization.

52.       The manner in which President shall be appointed is as follows.

 

(1)    A Member of State Assembly, being a Member of Parliament, shall nominate a Citizen who is at least thirty years old and qualified to be a President of the Republic of Sri Lanka as per the provisions of Article 131, in the first sitting of National Assembly after the conclusion of a General Election; and another Member of State Assembly shall second his name. Several Presidential Candidates may be nominated in this manner;

 

(2)    When only one candidate is nominated and seconded, that candidate shall be appointed as President of the Republic. When several candidates are nominated and seconded, an open ballot by Voice of all Members of State Assembly shall be taken by Speaker of State Assembly;

 

(3)    The candidate who obtains not less than half of the votes of the whole number of Members of State Assembly (including the members not present) shall be appointed as President.

 

(4)    The newly appointed President shall assume office by taking and subscribing to the Oath set out in the Fourth Schedule, in front of Speaker of State Assembly.

 

53.       If a President cannot be so appointed within three such attempts, in accordance with the provisions of Article 52, the following provisions shall be applied to elect President and Vice President, notwithstanding the provisions of Article 52.

1.       Speaker of State Assembly shall proclaim to create a “Presidential Electorate” consisting of:


(a) all Members of Parliament;

(b) all Local Members;

(c) all full-time academic faculty members of all State Universities;

(d) all President’s Counsels in the law fraternity; and

(e) all persons who have been conferred on State Honorary titles by President on behalf of the State as per the provisions of subparagraph 59(1)(j).


After such proclamation, Speaker adjourns the session of State Assembly until the election of President concludes as per the provisions of this paragraph, and the incumbent President shall be acting as President until such election concludes.

2.       Elections Commission, on such proclamation by Speaker, shall publish within twenty four hours, “Special Presidential Election Proclamation” in the Gazette calling for nominations for candidacy of President and Vice President. Any political party having elected Members in Parliament shall be entitled to nominate a Presidential Candidate with a Candidate of Vice Presidency.
  

3.       Elections Commission shall prepare a Register of Electors of Presidential Electorate, and publish, within two days since Special Presidential Election Proclamation, in the Gazette, listing all the members with their full name and the mode of entitlement to vote. Such Gazette notification shall invite all those persons as mentioned in the paragraph (1) of this Article entitled to vote in favor of one presidential candidate to cast their vote on the date fixed in such Gazette notification which shall be not more than three days since the Gazette notification.

4.       The participation of all Members of Parliament and all Local Members in this election shall be mandatory to the effect that their non-participation shall lead to automatic deprivation for six months of their salaries and allowances of being Member of Parliament or Member of Local Council, and other electors shall be highly encouraged to cast their vote.

5.        Elections Commission shall constitute at least one polling station in each Province for such election.

6.       The presidential candidate who obtains the most votes shall be elected and proclaimed by Elections Commission as the President of the Republic, and the attached nominee for Vice President as the Vice President of the Republic.

7.       The newly appointed President and Vice President shall assume office by taking and subscribing to the Oath set out in the Fourth Schedule, in front of Speaker of State Assembly, and shall summon State Assembly on such date as instructed by Speaker.

54.       (1) The newly appointed President in accordance with the normal procedure as per the provisions of Article 52 shall nominate for the office of Vice President (VP) not less than two Citizens who are at least thirty years old and qualified as per Article 131, in the first sitting of State Assembly after the conclusion of a General Election and after such President has been appointed; and the candidate who obtains not less than half of the votes by voice of the whole number of Members of State Assembly (including the members not present) shall be appointed by President as Vice President.

(2) If the candidate to be elected as Vice President could not obtain the Simple Majority of votes as described in paragraph (1) of this Article, President in consultation with the political party leaders in State Assembly shall nominate another candidate for Vice President, who is at least thirty years old and qualified as per the Article 131, in the same aforementioned manner.

(3) Vice President shall be of opposite sex to President, and be a Sinhala Buddhist if President is not a Sinhala Buddhist or be a Tamil Hindu or a Muslim if President is a Sinhala Buddhist.

(4)  The newly elected Vice President shall assume office by taking and subscribing to the Oath set out in the Fourth Schedule in front of President.

(5) Vice President shall be, ex officio, a Member of State Assembly.

(6) Vice President, upon the assumption of office, shall cease to hold any other office or position in the government, and shall not hold any directorship or any managerial position in any business or organization.

 

55.       President in consultation with Cabinet of Ministers may delegate by a notification published in the Gazette, some of duties and responsibilities of President to Vice President. President in consultation with Cabinet of Ministers shall have the right to change or revoke by a notification published in the Gazette, such delegated duties and responsibilities at any time.

 

56.       (1) Vice President, in the vacancy, mutatis mutandis, of the presidency as per Article 58 shall be sworn in as President of the Republic as soon as possible before Speaker of State Assembly for the unexpired duration of such office.

(2) State Assembly shall assemble as soon as possible, not more than forty eight hours to elect a new Vice President in accordance with Article 54; the newly appointed President shall nominate his candidates for Vise Presidency.

(3) Vice President shall be appointed as the Acting President by President or Speaker of State Assembly, only if President or Speaker thinks President is unable to exercise, discharge, and perform his powers, duties, functions and responsibilities because of ill health; and for such temporary duration, President and Vice President shall be the same person notwithstanding the provisions of paragraph 54(3).

 

57.       (1) President shall be elected for such office for not more than two terms.

Whereas Vice President, in the vacancy of the presidency as per Article 58, acting as President for the unexpired duration of such office shall not be considered to be a proper President to count as one term for him to be elected as President.

(2) President or Vice President shall not be entitled to be elected as a Member of Parliament or a Local Council until not less than five years have elapsed since the expiry or resignation of his last holding of such office.

(3) Vice President shall be entitled to be elected as a President, subject to the paragraph (1) of this Article.

58.       The office of President and the office of Vice President shall become vacant only by means of following ways.

 

(1)    Upon his death;

(2)    On his resignation in writing addressed to Speaker of State Assembly;

(3)    On his attaining the age of seventy years;

(4)    On his removal by Speaker of State Assembly with a resolution passed with a Simple Majority in State Assembly, on account of ill health, or physical or mental infirmity;

(5)    On his removal by Speaker of State Assembly after he has been impeached in State Assembly, as per the provisions of paragraph of 43(3); and

(6)    With the relevant provisions of Article 308 coming into operation.

59.   The powers, functions, duties, and responsibilities of President are as follows.

 

(1)     

(a)    To appoint Prime Minister, Cabinet Ministers, and Deputy Ministers as per the provisions of this Constitution;

(b)   To appoint Vice President as per the provisions of this Constitution;

 

(c)    To appoint a Governor to each Province in consultation with Chief Minister of the related Province;

 

(d)   To appoint members of Constitutional Council, members to independent Commissions constituted under CHAPTER XXIII, as per the provisions of this Constitution;

 

(e)   To appoint Chief Justice, and judges to Supreme Court, Court of Appeal, and High Courts, as per the provisions of this Constitution;

 

(f)     To appoint Secretaries General to President, to Prime Minister,  to Cabinet, to Cabinet ministries, to Parliament, to Provinces, in consultation with Constitutional Council;

 

(g)    To receive and recognize, appoint and accredit Ambassadors, High Commissioners, Plenipotentiaries, and other diplomatic agents;

 

(h)   To declare war and peace on the instructions of Prime Minister;

 

(i)      To appoint as President’s Counsel, attorneys-at-law who have achieved eminence in the profession and have maintained high standards of conduct and professional rectitude;

 

(j)     To confer the State Honorary titles on outstanding persons, artists and scientists who have achieved eminence in the respective profession and have maintained high standards of conduct and professional rectitude;

 

(k)    To grant the status of Citizenship as “Honorary Citizen” to a foreign person in accordance with the provisions of paragraph (5) of Article 8 of this Constitution;

 

(l)      To represent the State or Prime Minister on invitation by Prime Minister in international conferences, meetings, and ceremonies;

 

(m) To preside at ceremonial sittings of Parliament, and to attend as the Chief Guest in every national function of the State;

 

(n)   To summon, prorogue, and dissolve Parliament in consultation with Prime Minister in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution therefor;

 

(o)   To declare a State of emergency for the whole State or within a Province or within a Locality, in consultation with Prime Minister, and halt the functioning of one or several Provincial Councils or Local Councils as much as President so desires or until the next General Election whichever comes first;

 

(p)   To grant and dispose of State lands and immovable property vested in the Republic as per the provisions of this Constitution and law;

 

(q)   To appoint Special Presidential Commissions of Inquiry as in accordance with the Special Presidential Commissions of Inquiry Law (No. 7 of 1978), and Presidential Commissions to find important facts or to seek views and opinions from the general public or interested persons;

 

(r)     To incorporate by Charter non-profit organizations with legal personality for the advancement of science, art, education, professions, and other good causes;

 

(s)    To keep the Public Seal of the Republic, and to make and execute under the Public Seal the acts of appointment made by President, such grants and dispositions of lands and immovable property vested in the Republic as President is by law required or empowered to do, to ratify every Bill duly passed by Parliament or State Assembly, to ratify result of Referendum,  and to use the Public Seal for sealing all things whatsoever that shall pass that Seal; and

 

(t)     To do all such acts and things, not being inconsistent with the provisions of the Constitution or written law as by international law, custom or usage a Head of State is required or authorized to do.

 

       (2) President may, in the case of any offender convicted of any offence in any court within the Republic grant a pardon either free or subject to lawful conditions, subject to the provisions of the subparagraphs (2)(a), (2)(b), and (2)(d) of this Article.

 

(a)    President may substitute a less severe form of punishment for any punishment imposed on any such offender:

Provided that an offender condemned to death shall not be free, and shall be indefinitely under Civic Disability even after he receives the Pardon subject to the third proviso of this subparagraph;

Further provided that an offender under a lifetime imprisonment shall not be free, and shall be under Civic Disability for fifteen years even after he receives the Pardon subject to the third proviso of this subparagraph;

Further provided that notwithstanding the above two provisos, an offender condemned to death or sentenced to lifetime may be pardoned free with his Civic Disability fully revoked, only after a resolution therefor passed with a Simple Majority of votes in State Assembly.

(b)   Grant any respite either indefinite or for such period as President may think fit, of the execution of any sentence subject to the provisions of subparagraph (2)(a) of this Article passed on such offender.

(c)    Remit the whole or any part of any punishment imposed or of any penalty or forfeiture otherwise due to the Republic, on account of such offence.

(d)    President shall exercise the Pardon under subparagraphs (2)(a), (2)(b), and (2)(c) of this Article in consultation with a committee consisting of Attorney General, the Chairman of independent Judicial Commission, and Prime Minister.

(e)   President shall not delegate this power to Vice President.

       (3) (a) An Act duly passed either in Parliament or State Assembly shall become a law after President signs it.

(b) If President thinks an Act passed in Parliament and referred to him for his signature should be amended to conform to the provisions of the Constitution, or to the good governance principles, and to the natural justice, President may direct that the same Act must be passed again in State Assembly;

Whereas President shall sign the Act so referred to State Assembly if it is duly passed in State Assembly.

      (4) President, assisted by Green Province Administration as created and established by the provisions of Section 5 of Appendix 2 of Article 47(1)(o), shall be the Principal Administrator and Guardian of the Green Province of Sri Lanka, and no activity shall be carried on in such lands without prior express consent in writing from President in accordance with the law; and such consent of President shall be published in the Gazette; and such permitted activity shall be carried out under the constant supervision and control of President; and President shall not delegate this power to Vice President.

       (5) President shall assume the powers, duties, functions, and responsibilities of Prime Minister, Cabinet Ministers, Provincial Councils and Local Councils from the moment a General Election is declared by Elections Commission. President assisted by Vice President, Governors, and the incumbent Administrative Officers shall execute all the executive powers as necessary to carry out the routine government services until the election concludes and a new Prime Minister is sworn in, and Local Chairmen are appointed.

      (6) It shall be the duty and responsibility of President to ensure to conduct a free and fair election.

       (7) President shall ensure the security of Chief Justice and all judges of all the courts, Opposition Leader, Members of Parliament, except Prime Minister and Cabinet Ministers, and deputy ministers, the members of the Constitutional Council and independent Commissions, and Governors.

       (8) It shall be the duty and the responsibility of the President to ensure democracy, rule of law, religious harmony, racial harmony, and good governance to prevail in the country.

60.   President and Vice President individually and collectively are responsible to Parliament and State Assembly for the due execution and performance of the powers, functions, duties, and responsibilities of the offices of President and Vice President.

61.   Whilst any person holds office as President, no proceedings shall be instituted or continued against him in any court or tribunal in respect of anything done or omitted to be done by him when discharging and performing the duties and responsibilities of President, either in his official or private capacity:

Provided that nothing in this paragraph shall be read and construed as restricting the right of any person to make an application against President , in respect of any civil wrong done by President to that person, in President’s private capacity;

Further provided that nothing in this paragraph shall be read and construed as restricting the right of any person to make an application under Article 164 against Attorney General, in respect of anything done or omitted to be done by President, in his official capacity.

 

62.   (1) Within one month of the commencement of the Constitution, Parliament shall by resolution determine the salary, allowances and pension entitlement of the holders of the offices of President, Vice President, and Governors.

       (2) Upon the assumption of the office of President, of Vice President, and of Governor, the holder of such office shall become entitled to the receipt of such salary and allowances and thereafter, of such pension as may be determined by Parliament. Any subsequent amendment, repeal or replacement of this Article and any subsequent law or any provision thereof inconsistent with this Article shall not have retrospective operation.

 

       (3) Parliament may by resolution increase, but shall not reduce, the salary, allowances or pension entitlement of the holders of the office of President, the office of Vice President, the office of Governor.

 

63.   (1) The President shall have the power to appoint such Secretaries, and in consultation with Cabinet of Ministers, such other officers and staff as are in his opinion necessary to assist him in the exercise, performance and discharge of the powers, duties and functions of his office, and to determine their terms and conditions of service.

(2) Vice President shall have the power to appoint such Secretaries, and, in consultation with President, such other officers and staff to assist him in the exercise, performance and discharge of the powers, duties and functions of his office, and to determine their terms and conditions of service.

 

       (3) Such Secretaries, officers and staff shall be deemed to be public officers except that the dismissal and disciplinary control of such Secretaries, officers and staff shall be vested in President, who may delegate to Vice President or any such Secretary his powers of dismissal and disciplinary control in respect of any such officers or staff.

(4) The provisions of Article 62 of this Constitution shall apply, mutatis mutandis, the staff of President and staff of Vice President.

 

64.   President and Vice President shall not be out of the country at the same time; and President and Prime Minister shall not be out of the country at the same time.

 

65.   (1) President shall appoint to each Province a Governor whose qualifications shall meet provisions of the Article 131, and for such duration as long as Governor performs his duties with responsibility, due diligence, both physical and mental firmness, and professional integrity.

 

       (2) Governor shall have the power to appoint such Secretaries, and, in consultation with President, such other officers and staff to assist him in the exercise, performance and discharge of the powers, duties and functions of his office, and to determine their terms and conditions of service:

Provided that the provisions of paragraph (3) of Article 63 apply to these Secretaries, officers and staff.

 

       (3) The office of Governor shall become vacant:

 

(a)    upon his death;

(b)   if he resigns his office in writing addressed to President; and

 

(c)    if President at his discretion or at the request of the related Provincial Council removes him.

66.   Governor shall have the following functions, powers, duties, and responsibilities.

 

(1)    When one or several Local Councils are dissolved as per the provisions of paragraphs 115(5) or Article 120, and there shall not be any by-election for such Council or Councils due to the conditions as stated in the provisions of Article 140, Governor of the related Province shall cause a Special Commissioner appointed for each such dissolved Local Council along with his staff and the staff of Local Council or Councils to exercise, discharge, and perform all the functions, duties, powers, and responsibilities of Local Council or Councils until a new General Election is concluded. Governor shall do the same, mutatis mutandis, for Provincial Council dissolved as per paragraph 126(2).

 

(2)    Governors shall assist President along with Vice President in the administration of the trustee government during a General Election.

 

(3)    President may assign to a Governor some of his duties and responsibilities at his wish in relation to the related Province.

 

(4)    Governor shall monitor and report to President as to how Local Councils and Provincial Council in that Province exercise the executive powers devolved to them, and then take necessary actions on President’s advice in response as necessary and in accordance with the law.

 

(5)    It shall be the responsibility of a Governor to respect and protect the integrity and the Sovereignty of Sri Lanka.

 

(6)    Governor shall have the right to attend to a sitting of a Provincial Council, to address such Council, have Chairman of Provincial Council read Governor’s message in the Council.

 

(7)    Governor shall have the right to adjourn or prorogue Provincial Council for not more than three months, on President’s advice.

 

(8)    Governor shall be responsible to President.


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