Sri Lanka can’t abolish the powers of executive presidency and give it to an executive PM: Minister

Apr 07, 2015 (LBO) – Sri Lanka can’t abolish the executive presidency and then pass the executive powers on to the Prime Minister, Minister of Power and Energy said.

“We can’t abolish the powers of the executive president and give it to another like the executive Prime Minister,” Minister of power and energy, Patali Champika Ranawaka said.

“So what we can practically do is to democratize the executive Presidency and redistribute his power among the main branches of the government namely the legislature, cabinet, the president himself and the judiciary of the country,”

“These reforms are an important part of and a step forward in the promised good governance of the new government.”

The Minister made these comments, Monday while addressing a private and public sector gathering at a forum organized by the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce in Colombo.

The Minister says a clear mandate from the people is needed to abolish the executive presidency.

“We can’t abolish this executive presidency without having a clear and direct mandate from the people because the people only elected the President,”

“Our belief is that through the 19th or the 20th amendment we must redistribute the powers of the executive.”

The Draft Bill on the 19th Amendment to the Constitution was approved by the Cabinet of Sri Lanka at an emergency Cabinet meeting summoned by President Maithripala Sirisena last month (March).

The bill is due be taken up for debate in Parliament on the 9 and 10 April 2015.