No transitional period for new President | Sunday Observer

No transitional period for new President

The new president is expected to be sworn in office shortly after the results of the election is announced, despite a one month transitional gap between the election of a new president and the departure of the former.

With the President announcing in India on Friday that the Presidential election would be held on December 7, the new President is likely to be in office by mid December this year, a senior state official said.

 “After the Presidential election in 1988, the then Attorney General Sunil de Silva maintained that the term of the new President R. Premadasa begins immediately after the polls results are announced,” a senior Constitutional Law expert said adding that the transitional period has not been respected in any of the past elections since then.

Former President J.R. Jayawardena was scheduled to leave office on February 6 the following year but after the Attorney General’s advice, President Premadasa was sworn-in on January 1, days after the December 19 election.

The term of the sitting President ends on January 8, 2020 but according to the National Election Commission (NEC), the new President has to be elected by December 9, under the present elections law. Therefore, if President Maithripala Sirisena did not run for office or suffers a defeat, a new President will be in office by early December.

President Sirisena who was in New Delhi, attending the swearing in ceremony of Narendra Modi who was re-elected as India’s Prime Minister for a second term, told media on Friday that the Presidential election will be held on Saturday, December 7. It was the first time an election date was officially announced but the National Election Commission is yet to comment.

In a Presidential election, the Election Commission has to issue the gazette notification announcing the election date and the nomination period, whereas in all other elections the President is the body vested with that authority.

The NEC Chairman Mahinda Deshapriya in an interview with the Sunday Observer last week said the Commission has plans to hold the Presidential polls between November 15 and December 7.