Cabinet approval has been granted to include a change to the draft of the 19th Amendment, through which the Head of the Government has not been specified leading to a further curtailing of executive powers, although the President will remain the Head of State and Commander-in-Chief.
Cabinet Spokesman and Minister Rajitha Senaratne speaking told a news conference yesterday that the issue of the 19th Amendment draft was with concern to which position should be named the Head of the Government.
“Earlier, the President was named the Head of State, the Commander of the tri-forces, head of the Executive and the Head of the Government. But following the change approved by the cabinet, no elaboration has been done on who the Head of Government should be – it will depend on the availability of the President and the Prime Minister,” he said.
The minister said even in countries such as Korea, it was not elaborated whether it was the President or the Prime Minister who should hold the leadership of the government.
“Except for Minister Champika Ranawaka, all other members of the cabinet agreed to this change to be included in the 19A draft since we explained that during the campaigning period our pledge was to either abolish the Executive Presidency or to curtail executive powers. Therefore, if the presidential system is to be maintained, the Executive powers of the position need to be curtailed, which we have included in the draft by removing immunity and making the presidency accountable to Parliament,” he said.
The minister said these were the main clauses that they had been campaigning for since the 1970s.(Lakna Paranamanna)