- Some claim it’s a conspiracy hatched against Gota, Sajith
By Kelum Bandara
A last ditch attempt to abolish the executive presidency by President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe was thwarted by the Cabinet yesterday.
The Ministers who advocate the presidential candidacy to Minister Sajith Premadasa were opposed to the Cabinet memorandum for the enactment of the 20th Amendment to the Constitution to scrap executive presidency.
The President called for an immediate Cabinet meeting at 3.00 pm yesterday to discuss the proposed constitutional amendment.
At the commencement of the meeting, he informed the Cabinet that he convened it at the request of the Prime Minister . However, Mr.Wickremesinghe said that civil society representatives had insisted on the need to scrap the executive presidency.
Later, the Ministers loyal to Mr. Premadasa, were critical of the move to enact such a constitutional amendment at this hour. Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera viewed it as part of a conspiracy hatched by some members of Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) and the UNP.
“This is a conspiracy by SLPPers who don’t want to see Gotabaya Rajapaksa becoming the President and UNPers who are not ready to elect Mr. Premadasa as the President,” he said.
Megapolis and Western Development Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka said this Cabinet memorandum should be put to a vote at the government’s
“After its verdict, we can decide on the next course of action,” he said.
Power, Energy and Business Development Minister Ravi Karunanayake and Health Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne made positive remarks about the Cabinet paper.
President called for an immediate Cabinet meeting at 3.00 pm yesterday
A disgraceful move
Minister Sajith Premadasa told the media after the Cabinet meeting that any act even to discuss the abolishing of executive presidency when a presidential election has been called was disgraceful.
“A proposal of this nature at an hour like this, when a gazette has been issued only the night before declaring the election date and a nomination date; my personal opinion is that even an attempt to discuss the abolishing of Executive Presidency is a disgraceful act. It is a blow to the sovereign rights of the people. This should have been discussed before at least two weeks or at the last Cabinet meeting. I don’t know whose idea it was to discuss this at this hour,” he said.
Opposition raise concerns over moves to abolish Exec. Presidency
By Ajith Siriwardana
Opposition MPs yesterday raised concerns in Parliament that the government was plotting to abolish executive presidency in a haste at a time the elections commission has announced the date of the presidential election.
UPFA MP Arundika Fernando said President Maithripala Sirisena, who kept silent on the matter for last four and half years, was plotting to abolish executive presidency in a haste at the end of his term.
He said it was too late to abolish executive presidency at the moment and added that what was needed right now was to hold the election and elect a new president.
He said presidency cannot be abolished only by the parliament adding that the resolution in this regard should be passed with a two third majority in parliament and it should also be passed at a referendum by the people.
He said they would not support any moves to abolish the presidency in a haste.
UPFA MP Sisira Jayakody said the President was planning to do it due to sheer jealousy as he was well aware that he has to go home now.
UPFA MP Kanchana Wijesekara said it was not acceptable to plan to abolish the presidency when the elections commission had made all arrangements to hold the election.
“The government is trying to obstruct the victory of Gotabaya Rajapaksa. Is Parliament used to suppress democracy?. We will object to any moves to endanger stability of the country by trying to abolish executive presidency without having any action plan on the provincial council system and the electoral system,” he said.
He said they would do everything possible to defeat any moves to abolish it.
MP Wimal Weerawansa said the government was trying to deprive the people of right to elections just as they did to PC and LG polls.