UPFA MP Geetha Kumarasinghe not eligible to hold post, Supreme Court rules

(COLOMBO, LANKAPUVATH) –Sri Lanka’s Supreme Court today ruled that Galle District United People’s Freedom alliance (UPFA) parliamentarian Geetha Kumarasinghe is not entitled to hold the post of a Member of parliament as she had contested the election while being a dual citizen.

The decision of the five-judge bench including the Chief Justice was announced by a panel of three judges.

The Supreme Court also ordered the Court Registrar to immediately inform Secretary General of Parliament of the decision that Geetha Kumarasinghe cannot hold a post as a member of parliament.

Five voters of the Galle district filed a petition in the Court of Appeals requesting court to declare Ms. Kumarasinghe is ineligible to remain as a parliamentarian while holding a dual citizenship.

On 3 May 2017 the Appeals Court ruled that Ms. Kumarasinghe is not entitled to hold the post of a Member of Parliament as she had contested the election in August 2015 while being a dual citizen which is against the 19th Amendment to the Constitution.

Following the Appeal Court ruling, the General Secretary of Parliament Dhammika Dassanayake informed the Elections Commission that the Parliamentary seat of Geetha Kumarasinghe has been vacated.

However, the former actress-turned politician appealed to the Supreme Court against the lower court’s ruling.

The veteran actress holds dual citizenship in Sri Lanka and Switzerland. In August the Controller General of Immigration and Emigration confirmed that among the parliamentarians in Sri Lanka parliament, MP Geetha Kumarasinghe is the only dual citizen.

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