Following the surprise win of the common opposition candidate Maithripala Sirisena in the presidential elections of January 2015, the new government of Sri Lanka pushed through Parliament an ambitious package of constitutional and governance reforms before Parliament was dissolved and fresh parliamentary elections were held in August 2015, ten months ahead of schedule. These elections saw the defeat of the former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, who had tried to stage a comeback as a leader of the parliamentary majority, and confirmed the victory of the anti-Rajapaksa forces which had already prevailed in the preceding presidential election. The Nineteenth Amendment to the Constitution certified into law on May 15, 2015 reverses most the changes implemented by the Eighteenth Amendment at the pinnacle of the Rajapaksa ascendancy. In particular, it restores the two-term-limit for presidential office-holders and the nonpartisan character of the Constitutional Council which oversees the important presidential appointments to the judiciary and to the independent commissions, such as the Elections Commission and the Anti-Corruption Commission. Please see the Constitution of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka: August 31, 1978 (as Amended to May 15, 2015), the consolidated version of the constitutional text with all amendments up to May 15, 2015 as published by the Parliament Secretariat, and the fully revised and updated Introductory Note commentary on the constitution in the light of the most recent constitutional changes, along with a Select Bibliography of current books and articles on Sri Lankan constitutional law.
Learn more about The Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, by reading the freely available Introductory Note commentary.
Image credit: Negombo Boats by Indi Samarajiva CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons
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