Wednesday, 29 April 2015 - 12:47
Update : 19 A repeals 18th A: 17 Amendment enacted again
The people are inquisitive about the real changes that were made to the 19th Amendment.
Addressing two different media conferences held in Colombo today, Deputy Foreign Minister Ajith P. Perera and former External Affairs Minister G.L. Peiris elaborated the changes.
Although Deputy Minister Ajith P. Perera said that the Prime Minister would appoint the Cabinet after the next General Election, former Minister G.L. Peiris had different views against Ajith P. Perera.
Regarding the amendment which empowers people to sue the President against violation of fundamental rights, Minister Ajith P. Perera stated this can be do so only at the highest judicial court as an assurance to the President’s security.
However, former Minister G.L. emphasized that only 2 things have changed on practical terms, which include the removal of the state of impunity as well as extending the period, which the President can dissolve the parliament following a General Election, from one year to 4.5 years.
In addition, Minister Ajith P. Perera stated that as per the new amendment which was passed yesterday, the President should act according to the advice of the Prime Minister when appointing the cabinet.
However, contradicting this statement, former Minister G.L. Pieris stated that the President can seek the opinion of the Prime Minister.
Nevertheless, according to the decision of the Supreme Court, the final decision will be taken by the President, and this could be changed only through a referendum and not through the 2/3 majority.
He also added that the President is not obligated to act according to the wishes of the Prime Minister.
Update : Wednesday, 29 April 2015 - 19:05
19 A repeals 18th A: 17 Amendment enacted again
Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister Ajith P Perera said yesterday that a Clause was included to the 19th Amendment preventing dual citizenship holders of Sri Lanka from contesting elections.
He further said that several Clauses to limit the executive powers of the president have also included to the 19th Amendment.
Accordingly, the term of office of an executive president has reduced from 6 years to 5.
At the same time, the impunity powers enjoyed by previous executive presidents have also abolished under the 19th Amendment.
As a result of this amendment, future executive presidents of the county can be challenged before Court.
The Deputy Minister also said that the Independent Commissions which had been annulled by the 18th Amendment have re-enacted by the 19th.
Meanwhile the structure of the Constitutional Council has also been changed under the 19th Amendment.