UPFA General Secretary and Minister Susil Premajayantha yesterday said President Mahinda Rajapaksa had never made a promise to abolish the Executive Presidency.
Despite the 2005 UPFA Presidential election manifesto - Mahinda Chinthana clearly stating that constitutional reforms would be made in order to do away with the Executive Presidential system, Minister Premajayantha says no provisions were included in the Mahinda Chinthana vision to do away with the Executive Presidency.
"There is a clause that proposes that constitutional reforms should be implemented to reduce the powers of the Executive Presidency," he said during an interview with the Daily Mirror.
The Minister however said the reduction of Executive Powers and a broader set of proposals for constitutional reforms would be included in the manifesto for the upcoming Presidential polls.
Meanwhile, responding to allegations of the plethora of illegal hoardings and cutouts of President Rajapaksa that have been put up in the Colombo city, he said those were not put up aiming the elections.
"Some of them depicted the widespread development work carried out by the President and the government. Most of them were put up in celebration of President Rajapaksa's birthday which fell on November 18 but measures are currently being taken to bring them down," he added.
Minister Premajayantha also said it was the duty of the Colombo Mayor to take the hoardings down.
"It is the UNP Mayor's duty to remove them. The UNP cannot be accusing the UDA of pressuring him into allowing them to remain because what if the Mayor crossed over to our side? What will they use as an excuse then?" he questioned while adding the illegal hoardings of President Rajapaksa remaining only makes it evident that the UNP did not have any control over their local government politicians.
He also dismissed allegations of the unprecedented use of state resources and property for the election campaigning activities of President Rajapaksa.
"We are not using any state resources; we have our own property and resources. These election monitors are also funded by foreign countries so don't rely on them," he said.(Lakna Paranamanna)