Milinda calls for scrapping provincial council system

28 July 2020 12:07 am - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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  • This is especially unfortunate in light of the dysfunctional  relationship that now exists between the Executive and the Legislature  and the proven potential for gridlock, both a result of the enactment of  the 19th Amendment  

While stressing the importance of strong executive decision making, Milinda Moragoda, former Cabinet Minister and founder of the Pathfinder Foundation, said the Provincial Councils should be abolished and empowered local councils set up to address the day-to-day issues of the citizenry.  

Issuing a statement, he underscored the need for Sri Lanka to be fast and agile in order to face the economic, social and international challenges of the Post-Covid-19 environment. 

 
He said, “There is no disputing the fact that the country benefited from having strong executive decision-making during the early stages of the pandemic. And as a result, many lives were saved. Disappointingly, no major political party has yet put forward a coherent governance and governing structure for the nation in their policy platforms. Each has been predictably very chameleon-like when addressing issues related to constitutional and governance-structure related matters in their manifestos. 


This is especially unfortunate in light of the dysfunctional relationship that now exists between the Executive and the Legislature and the proven potential for gridlock, both a result of the enactment of the 19th Amendment.’  Against this backdrop, without any coherent or credible proposals thus far having been presented by any major political party, Milinda Moragoda proposes that all thoughtful Sri Lankans take up the following points for their consideration, discussion and if appropriate advocacy :  


A. The establishment of a strong Executive Presidency that can act decisively and yet be ultimately accountable to Parliament.  After all, the presidency is the only office elected by all Sri Lankan voters.


 Thus, the individual occupying this post will be implicitly accountable to all Sri Lankan citizens, be they from Kankesanthurai or Dewinuwara.  


B. An independent legislature that will promulgate legislation and act as a responsible check and balance to Executive excess. This legislature should be elected on a first-past-the-post basis with a small percentage of members being chosen through a proportional representation system.  


 This change should lead to a stable parliament where most members are directly accountable to their constituencies and citizens. The preference  


 vote system which has only created chaos and in-fighting should be dispensed with.  


C. The Provincial Councils should be abolished and empowered local councils set up to address the day-to-day issues of the citizenry.  


D. An empowered Senate should be created to represent minority and regional interests. 


*** 
*** This is especially unfortunate in light of the dysfunctional  relationship that now exists between the Executive and the Legislature  and the proven potential for gridlock, both a result of the enactment of  the 19th Amendment  

 

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