President Maitripala Sirisena, who is expected to return to the country this week, is expected to meet the United National Party (UNP) and the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) for crucial talks in an effort to arrive at a consensus on the proposed constitutional amendments, political sources said yesterday.
The President will return to the Island on March 12 after his State visit to Britain. It is learnt that he will meet the two main parties at the end of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Sri Lanka from March 13 to 15. .
Sources said the SLFP was insisting on electoral reforms and constitutional amendments being enacted simultaneously whereas the UNP was keen to enact them separately.
The UNP is in favour of the total abolition of the executive presidency, to be effective from the conclusion President Sirisena’s tenure. However, the SLFP is in favour of transferring some of the executive powers to the Legislature headed by a Prime Minister.
It is in such a scenario that the President hoped to meet the two main political parties and arrive at a consensual work plan. The enactment of constitutional reforms is a key promise given to people at the January 8 presidential election and according to the 100-day programme; these reforms should be enacted by March 23.
Meanwhile, the Government is ready with a draft proposal on constitutional amendments to be referred this week to the Supreme Court for determination.(KB)