The draft of the 20th Amendment to the Constitution which was gazetted today has proposed key amendments such as replacing the Constitutional Council (CC) with the Parliamentary Council, enabling the President to hold Cabinet portfolios and enabling the President to appoint Cabinet of Ministers.
According to the draft gazetted, the CC will be replaced with the Parliamentary Council which comprised of the Prime Minister, the Speaker, Leader of the Opposition, a nominee of the Prime Minister and a nominee of the Leader of the Opposition.
The President will be vested with powers to appoint Chairmen and members of the Commissions: the Election Commission, the Public Service Commission, the National Police Commission, the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka, the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption, the Finance Commission and the Delimitation Commission and also to appoint the Attorney-General, the Auditor-General, Parliamentary Commissioner for Administration and Secretary-General of Parliament with observation of the Parliamentary Council.
However, when the President seeks the observations of the Council, its observations required to be conveyed through the Speaker within a week from the date of seeking such observations and if the Council fails to do so, the President could proceed to make the appointments.
In another notable amendment, the President could be a member of the Cabinet of Ministers while being the Head of the Cabinet of Ministers and the President can determine the number of Ministers in the Cabinet and the Ministries and the assignment of subjects and functions to such Ministers in consultation with the Prime Minister where he considers such consultation necessary. (Ajith Siriwardana)