ABOLISHING EXECUTIVE PRESIDENCY

Published : 9:00 am  November 18, 2015 | No comments so far |  |  (390) reads | 

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BY YOHAN PERERA

President Maithripala Sirisena yesterday underscored the government’s commitment to introduce major changes to the Constitution as promised in his manifesto. He said he would submit two Cabinet papers — one on abolishing the executive presidency and the other on introducing electoral reforms.

President Sirisena gave this assurance at a ceremony held at Temple Trees where dual citizenships were granted to 2,000 Sri Lankans. He said the Cabinet would discuss the constitutional amendments today before approving them. “I have already discussed the abolishing of the executive presidency and the proportional representation system with the Prime Minister and will submit the Cabinet papers to bring about these major changes,” the President said. He said executive powers would be transferred to Parliament, the Judiciary and the Independent Commissions.

“Some people talk as if we have administered this country for ten years but I must remind our detractors that we assumed office only ten months ago and have achieved much during that period with the appointment of the Independent Election Commission and the Independent Human Rights Commission which were established under the 19th Amendment to the Constitution thus fulfilling some of the main promises we made during the presidential election,” he said and recalled that all these promises were fulfilled at a time when the opposition commanded a majority in parliament.

The President said the present regime had brought freedom to our citizens and that this freedom should be enjoyed in a calm and gentle manner. He said dual citizenship is what most of the Sri Lankan expatriates asked for whenever he met them during his tours abroad and the government had fulfilled that wish as well. Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said the support of Sri Lankan expatriates would be vital in achieving the government’s objective of winning international support in bringing about reconciliation, attracting foreign investors and developing the nation.

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