Colombo: The Sri Lankan government has
approved lifting the two-term limit for Presidents in a move
that would allow incumbent Mahinda Rajapakse to run for office
again, an official said on Friday.
Rajapakse, 64, came to power in 2005 and has
increased his firm grip on power since defeating the
separatist Tamil Tiger rebels in May last year after
nearly four decades of bloody ethnic conflict.
The president`s family hold key positions on the
island, with three brothers taking the roles of defence
secretary, Speaker of parliament and economic development
minister. His son was also elected to parliament in April.
The cabinet endorsed the statute change on Wednesday,
a spokesman for the government information department said.
"These proposals are to be brought before parliament
as an urgent bill," he said, adding that the Supreme Court
would be asked to decide on their constitutionality.
Rajapakse`s second term ends in November 2016 and
the existing laws prevent him from running for office again.
His United People`s Freedom Alliance won 144 seats
in the 225-member parliament at April elections, but has the
support of opposition defectors to secure the two-thirds
majority needed to approve the proposed amendments.