People can Question 19th Amendment

Monday, 16 March 2015 - 13:17

Deputy Foreign Minister Ajith P Perera said that people have the opportunity to consult the Supreme Court Opinion about the constitutionality of the proposed amendment after it is gazetted.

Accordingly it could be verified whether the proposed amendment should either be passed by two third majority in parliament or hold a referendum.

The proposed 19th Amendment was passed by the Cabinet yesterday and soon afterward, it was sent to government printer for gazetting.

However Government Printer Gamini Fonseka told our news team that he has not received such a gazette to be printed as yet.

Meanwhile Deputy Foreign Minster Ajith P Perera told our news team that the government coalitions also have certain differences of opinion over the amendment.

He also said that there is possibility to add amendment to this Draft Bill when it is presented in parliament.

The main constitutional proposals of the 19th Amendment include the transformation of the Presidential form of government to a Presidential-Parliamentary system of government and the restoration of the 17th Amendment to the Constitution.

The new reforms will result in the President losing the power to dissolve parliament after one year of its election.

According, to the proposed reforms the President cannot dissolve the parliament until 4 years of election.

The maximum term of a President to hold office has been limited to two terms.

Apart from this it has also been decided to re-appoint the independent commissions.

He would also retain the power to appoint the Prime Minister and the Cabinet.

The Presidential immunity from being sued over matters conducted during his period of office is to also be removed under the proposed reforms.

However, the President would remain as the head of the Cabinet, and the commander in chief of the armed forces.

However, Deputy Minister Ajith P Perera stated that there are various ideologies among parties affiliated to the government.