19th Amentment Not Drafted To PMs Agenda: Wickramaratne

Advisor on Constitutional Affairs to the President Dr. Jayampathy Wickramaratne slammed critics who claim that the 19th Amendment was drafted to satisfy the agenda of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.

He further stated that as a leftist, he would prefer to see a Prime Minister from Sri Lanka Freedom Party.

Speaking at a press conference on Friday, Wickramaratne stated that constitutions cannot be drafted aiming the welfare of one person. He added that the current Prime Minister may be the opposition leader in the next parliament if a SLFP member becomes Prime Minister.

Wickramaratne, a member of the team which drafted the 19 th Amendment stressed that all provisions were made in the draft according to written advise from the Cabinet. Therefore, he insisted that the Cabinet approval had been granted for the provisions in the draft bill.

However, critics including Jathika Hela Urumaya General Secretary Patali Champika Ranawaka have insisted that the Cabinet approval was not given for the version in the Gazette and the version presented to the Supreme Court.

Dr. Wickramaratne said that the Supreme Court has given a positive determination on the 19 th Amendment and the amendment could well be a basis to the abolition of executive presidency in the future.

He urged all parties not to mix up the 19 th Amendment with the electoral reforms and support the implementation of the amendment.

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