By Ananda Weerasuriya
Mount Lavinia District Judge Priyantha Fernando issued an enjoining order yesterday, preventing the United National Party (UNP) Working Committee (WC) from extending the term of the party leadership to six years.
The judge also issued notice on UNP leader Ranil Wickremesighe and 85 members of the WC to appear in Court on 22 August and show cause why the amendment to the constitution was introduced.
These orders were issued when a petition filed by UNP Southern Provincial Councillor Maithri Gunarathna and two other lawyers was taken up yesterday. The petition, which stated the Working Committee, could not make amendments such as extending the term of the leadership, without holding a party summit and that the amendments introduced on 19, July 2012 went against the party constitution, sought an order to annul the amendment, declaring it null and void.
The Working Committee on 19 July 2012 adopted constitutional amendments that allowed the party to hold elections for its leader once in six years and also vested with the Leader the powers to appoint the General Secretary, Treasurer and National Organizer of the Party.
The amendments were in stark contrast to the existing mechanism by which the Leader, in addition to National Organizer and Deputy Leader, are elected each year.
The petitioners further noted in the petition that although the first respondent, Party Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe, had at the 19 December Working Committee meeting agreed to call a party conference in the first quarter of 2012, he along with 85 members in the Working Committee, had in failing to hold the meeting contravened sections 5 and 6 of the constitution.
Meanwhile, UNP Western Provincial Councillor Shiral Lakthilaka has also filed a similar petition at the Colombo District Court. courtesy: Ceylon Today