SLFP decides to vote in favour of 19A

SLFP decides to vote in favour of 19A

April 23, 2015   08:01 pm

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The SLFP Central Committee has unanimously decided to vote in favour of the 19th amendment to the Constitution a short while ago, Minister Rajitha Senaratne told Ada Derana. 

The decision was taken at a meeting of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) central committee held this evening. 

Meanwhile it has also been reported that President Maithripala Sirisena has assured to pass the 20th Amendment, which includes amendments to the electoral system, as immediately as possible.

Following the January election, the SLFP had decided to support the new government’s 100-Day Programme and along with it the 19th Amendment, which would see the amending of executive powers and restoration of independent commissions.

However, the party had called for electoral reforms alongside with the proposed amendment. 

Earlier today, Cabinet Spokesman Rajitha Senarathne said that the government has presented a draft proposal to the cabinet and is planning to replace the existing proportional system with a mixed electoral one.

Senarathne said that the new system includes provisions to elect a Parliamentarian directly to each electorate and a proportion of councilors to be elected through a proportional system based on the amount of votes obtained by each party.

The Cabinet of Ministers have decided to present an amendment to the constitution for electoral reforms depending on the above draft and ideas of all parties, he added.

Opposition Leader Nimal Siripala De Silva yesterday said that the SLFP is not against the 19th Amendment and that the party is of the opinion that both the 19th amendment and the amendment to the electoral system should be conducted simultaneously. 

National Organiser Susil Premajayantha said the executive presidency has been established along with the proportional representation system and therefore, the electoral system must also be changed along with the reforms to the executive presidency.

Eight key powers vested with the Executive President will be amended according to the proposed 19th constitutional amendment.

According to the proposed reforms, the term of the Executive President is due to be reduced from six years to five. Powers vested with the President to dissolve parliament will be now granted to parliament itself. Another Constitutional Amendment is a President’s term being restricted to merely two terms.

Cabinet will be vested with the power of appointing secretaries of ministries while the Cabinet of Ministers will be appointed by the President following consultations with the Prime Minister.

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