Sunday Observer Online


Sunday, 8 February 2015





Marriage Proposals
Government Gazette

Pruning Executive Presidency; electoral reforms during 100-day program:

Two Amendments to Constitution simultaneously

The Government will introduce two Amendments to the Constitution simultaneously - the first to prune the Executive Presidency and the second to put in place electoral reforms during the 100-day program.

Constitutional lawyer Dr. Jayampathy Wickremaratne who also worked on the draft Constitutional Amendments said the concept paper of the 19-A which proposes the pruning of the Executive Presidency, are now being studied by Opposition parties for their inputs.

“We are planning to wrap up the work soon but a timeframe cannot be given at this point,” Dr. Wickremaratne told the Sunday Observer yesterday.

Among the key proposals of the 19-A are, restricting the term of office of the President and Parliament to five years and restricting the dissolution of Parliament until it completes four-and-a-half years.

The decision for an early dissolution of Parliament can also be taken with a two-thirds majority in Parliament and not by the President’s arbitrary will.

There is also provision for a Deputy Prime Minister in the case of a coalition Government. The most important proposal is scrapping Presidential immunity. “All acts of commission and omission by the President in his official capacity can be challenged in a court of law and the Attorney General will be the respondent in such cases,” Dr. Wickremaratne said.

The right to information will be made a fundamental right in the Constitution under the proposed Amendment.

The President won’t be a mere figurehead as the 1972 Constitution provided. He will have an important role to play in governance issues. He will also appoint the Prime Minister at his will and ensure and facilitate the proper functioning of the Constitutional Council and the Independent Commissions,” Dr. Wickremaratne said.


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