No ‘bad time’ to do a good thing – Sumanthiran on Executive Presidency

September 21, 2019 (LBO) – TNA MP M. A. Sumanthiran commenting on the potential abolition of Sri Lanka’s Executive Presidency has stated that there is “No ‘bad time’ to do a good thing… even at the 11th hour do what was promised for 25 years.”

Sumanthiran’s comments come after a widely reported contentious emergency Cabinet meeting which was reportedly initiated at the behest of both the President and the Prime Minister. In the Cabinet meeting the issue of abolition of the Executive Presidency through the JVP’s 20th amendment was brought to the forefront. The meeting ended without a consensus. Counter arguments to the 20th amendment by UNF Ministers focused on attacking the timing of the proposal instead of the substance.

Abolition of the Executive Presidency was a key campaign promise made by President Maithripala Sirisena in his campaign for election to the Presidency. In an apparent gesture of goodwill, he appears to have summoned the Cabinet meeting in an attempt to make good on his promise.

With the Prime Minister, TNA, and JVP showing inclination to support abolition of the Executive Presidency through the JVP’s tabled 20th amendment, it appears that support is building for the initiative.

Amidst this backdrop, Speaker Karu Jayasuriya has emerged as a leading contender in the race to be the UNF Presidential candidate. Speaker Karu Jayasuriya has stated in no unequivocal terms that his candidacy would be on the platform of abolition of the Executive Presidency.

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