Pruning Executive Presidency; electoral reforms
during 100-day program:
Two Amendments to Constitution simultaneously
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
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
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.
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.