On May 12 a three-member bench of Judges of the Supreme Court took up the hearing of the appeal petition filed by Geetha Kumarasinghe, regarding her MP status and the controversy surrounding dual citizenship.
Four electors had previously filed the petition in the Court of Appeal challenging Kumarasinghe’s election. The Attorney General had subsequently informed Court that she had hitherto failed to revoke her Swiss citizenship.
In a recent ruling (on May 3), a two-member bench of Judges of the Court of Appeal held that Kumarasinghe, elected to Parliament from the Galle District on the United People’s Freedom Alliance ticket, had no right to be an MP or hold an MP seat owing to her citizenship status.
According to the Court, she possessed dual citizenship, in Sri Lanka and Switzerland, a disqualification under the provisions of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution.
Kumarasinghe has also requested the Supreme Court to issue an interim order preventing any action being taken by the Secretary General of the Parliament and the Election Commission with regard to her Parliamentary seat until the Supreme Court delivers its verdict on the contentious matter.
The Supreme Court on May 12 issued the said stay order thereby temporarily suspending the Court of Appeal’s decision. The said order will be valid till May 15, when the case will next be tried.
The Election Commission, which met on the same day as the Supreme Court, had also decided that they would not nominate any name to fill the seat until the superior Court gives its final order. The Commission had previously received the Galle District Returning Officer’s notification regarding the filling of the vacancy. Piyasena Gamage, from the Galle District list, is next in line to fill Kumarasinghe’s seat in the event the Supreme Court affirms the Court of Appeal judgment.