The United National Party (UNP) yesterday raised concerns over the manner in which the President has chosen to appoint the members of several independent commissions.
“These independent commissions, including the National Election Commission, are vital to protecting the democratic values of the country. Previously it has been the practice that prior to making appointments to these commissions, consultations would be held with the Party Leaders.
This has not happened on this occasion” an official statement from the party said.
While the party does not draw issue with any specific individual appointed to these commissions, the lack of consultation and dialogue on the part of the President has brought the integrity of these institutions into question it added.
“Under the 20th Amendment, the Parliamentary Council is no longer empowered to reject the names nominated by the President. Furthermore, it is difficult to expect the council members to effectively assess 28 individuals for their respective posts when the list is sent in its entirety under a short deadline,” the statement stated.
Under the previously established Constitutional Council, all appointments were thoroughly vetted and on occasions rejected. It was only after proper consultation with all other relevant parties and proper assessment that the concurrence of the Constitutional Council was provided. If the President has deemed that the concurrence of the Parliamentary Council is no longer required, as demonstrated through the 20th Amendment, then the reasoning behind these appointments must be presented to the public. We therefore ask that the President continue to maintain the integrity of these independent commissions, the party said. (YOHAN PERERA)