Former Justice Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe said today only a person with an insane mind could propose to abolish the Executive Presidency at a juncture like this when the country was hit by anarchy.
Mr Rajapakshe told the Daily Mirror that former President the late J.R. Jayewardene introduced the Executive Presidential system, coupled with the current electoral system in 1978, as it was befitting to the country.
He said constitution was modelled on the French Constitution to avoid the formation of unstable Governments.
He noted that each administrative district, barring those in the north, was considered a constituency under this system. A cut –off point of 12.5 percent votes was introduced for any party to get his members elected under the electoral system.
He said the entire system was distorted after the reduction of the cut-off point to five percent during the rule of R. Premadasa, to appease late Minister A.H.M. Ashraff, who formed the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC).
Since then, Mr Rajapakshe said no major party had been able to gain an absolute majority to form a stable Government except in 2010 when former President Mahinda Rajapaksa secured it riding on the wave of his popularity after the war victory.
“Otherwise, on each occasion, a major party got only 108-110 seats in Parliament. As a result, the major parties always have to dance to the tune of minor and minority parties holding only four or five seats in the House.
“The abolition of Executive Presidency will lead to further anarchy in the country under such circumstances. Therefore, only an insane person can ask for the abolition of the Executive Presidency. The JO proposed this. It is even hilarious to see the political formation of Mahinda Rajapaksa advocating it,” he said.
He said anarchy prevailed at the local authorities after the February elections. He said the anarchy had been caused by the inclusion of certain provisions in the law at the behest of leaders of small parties such as Anura Kumara Dissanayake.
He said the same would happen to the Provincial Councils if the elections were conducted under the same system.
“Earlier, the allegation at the Executive Presidents was that they behaved like dictators. But, the allegation against the present President is that he behaves like a puppet.
“He should exercise his executive power in the interests of the country. If he acted in that sense, he could have stopped the alienation of the Hambantota Port,” Mr Rajapakshe said. (Kelum Bandara)