President Maitripala Sirisena is not in favour of entertaining the no confidence motion against Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and believes that the enactment of the 20th Amendment to the Constitution should take precedence over anything, Daily Mirror learns.
The President reportedly expressed his opinion in this regard at a meeting with the leaders of the political parties aligned with the United People's Freedom Alliance(UPFA).
The UFPA handed over the no confidence motion against the Prime Minister last Friday to Secretary General of Parliament Dammika Dasanayake with 112 signatures of MPs. If the motion is adopted, the Cabinet of Ministers stands dissolved. In such an eventuality, the President should pick up the MP commanding the majority support in Parliament as the next Prime Minister.
According to sources close to the President, he is not for taking up this motion as a parliamentary business. Instead, the President is keen on the enactment of the electoral reforms in the form of the 20th Amendment. For that, a special Cabinet meeting has been scheduled for this evening. The sole purpose is to discuss electoral reforms to revert back to the mix of the First Past the Post System and the Proportional Representation System.
According to the cabinet paper drafted in this respect, 165 MPs are to be elected from the single and multi- member constituencies. There are 59 MPs proposed to be nominated on the National List, and the rest to be elected under the District Proportional Representation System.
However, some parties, both within and outside the government, are against the increase of the number of MPs. The President has agreed to incorporate the proposals of such parties during the Committee Stage of the debate. If the cabinet paper is approved by the Cabinet, it will be announced in the gazette notification to be presented later as a Bill in Parliament.(Kelum Bandara)