Sri Lanka President Gets Extra Year In Power
February 2, 2010.
Sri Lanka's supreme court on Tuesday ruled President Mahinda Rajapaksa can begin his new term in November, giving him an extra year in power after he called polls two years before his first term was to expire.
Rajapaksa last week won a new six-year term in a landslide victory, correctly gambling that his popularity after leading Sri Lanka to victory in a 25-year war with the Tamil Tiger separatists in May would carry him.
"The Supreme Court says the new term begins on November 19 this year," an official in the president's office said on condition of anonymity. A senior presidential ally, also speaking on condition of anonymity, confirmed the date.
The court's decision, following a request by Rajapaksa, cements his firm hold on the reins of the Indian Ocean island nation until 2016, despite opposition vows of street protests on Wednesday over what it says was a stolen election.
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Published: Tue Feb 2 10:14:29 EST 2010