Parliamentarian Dr. Jayampathy Wickramaratne today said that the removal of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe was unconstitutional as President Maithripala Sirisena appointed Mr. Wickremesinghe as the Prime Minister of the UNF government on August 21, 2015 and not as the Prime Minister of the national government.
He said that three Ministers namely Tilak Marapana, Wijedasa Rajapakshe and Mangala Samaraweera were also appointed to the Cabinet after 2015 general election. The national government was formed on September 2nd on an agreement reached between the UNP and the UPFA and accordingly the Cabinet was expanded to 42 members.
“This means if and when the UPFA leaves the government status quo remains and the government under Ranil goes back to the UNF Cabinet remained before September 2. Therefore, removal of Ranil from the premiership is unlawful and unconstitutional,” Dr. Wickramaratne who is also a constitutional expert stressed.
Dr. Wickramaratne told a press briefing that had been called by the ‘Lawyers for Democracy’ (LfD) that the Constitution does provides for the removal of the PM only under certain provisions though appointed by the President.
“President can’t sack him only because he does not like his face, his action or his policies. Prime Minister loses his post only after he looses the confidence of the majority of members in Parliament, loses his Parliament membership or the government loses a finance Bill or the budget in Parliament. Under the Constitution, there is no other way to sack him,” Mr Wickramaratne, added.
This move is clearly unconstitutional and undemocratic for the reasons wearers the 19th Amendment has restricted the President's powers in relation to Parliament as well as Cabinet, including removal and appointment of a Prime Minister. Power to remove the Prime Minister, previously vested in the President, was entirely removed by the 19th Amendment, which was introduced to ensure that arbitrary powers exercised by prior executive Presidents could not undermine basic democratic governance. This change was intentional, he emphasized.
Appointment of a Prime Minister under Article 42(4) of the Constitution can arise only when there is a vacancy by virtue of a fresh election, resignation and on the removal consequent to a no-confidence motion. The appointment of Mahinda Rajapaksa as PM is void, given the absence of any of the three above conditions to date, Dr. Wickramaratne said
Prime Minister Wickremesinghe easily defeated a no confidence motion against him with a majority vote of 46 votes on April, 4 in Parliament. The government on last Thursday and Friday passed two finance Bills also, he said. (Sandun A Jayasekera)
Pix by Kushan Pathiraja
Video by Damith
Comments - 8
Jayanath Monday, 29 October 2018 08:47 AM
Jayampathy,We know why you are crying like a grand ma now!It doesn’t matter as all Sri Lankan loves Mahinda and accept him as our leader. You have any problem with that?
Lord Wolfstein Monday, 29 October 2018 10:06 AM
Who dances with the devil, like you, will end up in hell.
Bushel Monday, 29 October 2018 08:59 AM
When DM Jayarathne was removed where were you ?
Siri Monday, 29 October 2018 09:16 AM
So, the appointment of RW on 21st Aug 2015 was also unconstitutional as UNF did not have majority at that time until the unity govt was formed on 2nd Sep. So technically MS has now annulled that unconstitutional appointment of his?
ET Monday, 29 October 2018 09:51 AM
The constitutional clause on removal of PM was changed thru the 19th ammendment for your information.
Sam Monday, 29 October 2018 10:53 AM
ET, The point here is that the PM appointment in Aug 2015 itself was unsconstitutional as UNF had only 107 seats, and they technically got the majority later when unity govt was formed. So you are barking about removing a PM who was not constitutionally appointed in the first place.
sach Monday, 29 October 2018 12:45 PM
This crisis was created by 19 amendment. This man was the architect of that.
siriwardana Monday, 29 October 2018 02:35 PM
If politico are dirty .it is no use ofwhatever constitution is made.now it is evidenced. This is not a issue with constitution but with the persons who use it.
Comments will be edited (grammar, spelling and slang) and authorized at the discretion of Daily Mirror online. The website also has the right not to publish selected comments.