19th Amendment To Be Presented To Parliament On March 24

The 19th Amendment to the Constitution will be presented to parliament on March 24, Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake told media recently.

Speaking to BBC Sandeshaya he said that this decision was taken at the recent National Executive Council meeting.

The Amendment was introduced with the objective of removing the arbitrary powers of the executive presidency. It also introduces the independent commissions originally introduced by the 17th Amendment.

The draft bill of the 19th Amendment was first presented to the Cabinet by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe on March 11. Cabinet approval was granted after a party leaders’ meeting on Sunday (15). The Gazette Notification of the draft bill was published at midnight on Monday (16).

Political parties have voiced different opinions on the 19th Amendment. Sri Lanka Freedom Party supports keeping some of the powers in the hands of the executive president. Meanwhile, the JVP wants the abolition of executive presidency after the end of the term of President Maithripala Sirisena. However, traditional left parties such as the LSSP want to see a total abolition of the executive presidency.

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