New Constitution To Be Drafted Following Election

Steps will be taken to draft a new constitution following the forthcoming General Election, Minister of Justice Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe noted on Friday.

Speaking at a press conference in Colombo, the minister said that the next parliament will be converted to a Constituent Assembly for this purpose.

Rajapakshe also spoke about the Supreme Court determination on the 19th Amendment to the Constitution. He stated that the Supreme Court noted 16 principle changes that will take place in the present constitution if the amendment is passed.

The Supreme Court noted that the citizens' right to information is guaranteed under the constitution if 19th Amendment is passed, Rajapakshe said. Duration of the President's term is reduced to five years and he or she can hold office for only two terms. In another significant move, the independent commissions are introduced, the minister noted further.

However, since the Supreme Court decided that certain provisions in the Constitutional Amendment requires a referendum for approval, those clauses will be removed from the 19th Amendment, Rajapakshe said.

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe also gave this assurance to the Parliament recently, after Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa had informed the parliament of the Supreme Court determination on the 19th Amendment.

Meanwhile, President Maithripala Sirisena recently said that the 19th Amendment will be presented to parliament for approval on April 20. Following the approval of the amendment, the parliament will be dissolved, he also said.

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