The government has only tabled a draft of the 20th Amendment to the Constitution and was prepared to consider any amendments submitted by the opposition and requested them to discuss them with the Prime Minister, Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage said today
He told Parliament the Opposition could challenge the 20A in the Supreme Court and that the government would only proceed if the SC allowed it to do so.
“We only tabled a draft of the 20th Amendment and doing so does not mean it has received parliamentary approval. The opposition can challenge it in the Supreme Court and will take it up for debate in Parliament only if the SC approves the draft. The opposition can submit their proposals at the committee stage. We are ready to consider their proposals,” the minister said.
He said the people gave a mandate to the government to abolish the 19th Amendment to the Constitution and as such could not disregard it.
“The 20A is not a demon as the opposition was trying to show. We will not do anything detrimental to the country during the tenure of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa. A Constitution is introduced considering many years ahead. Its dignity should be respected,” the mninister said.
He said 19A was not introduced for the benefit of the people but to take revenge from the Rajapaksas.
“The 19A prevented Mahinda Rajapaksa from contesting a third time for the presidency and the age limit prevented Namal Rajapaksa from contesting for the presidency,” the minister said.
He said 17 Samagi Jana Balawegaya MPs were having talks with the government to support 20A and we are sure of approving the 20A with the support of 170 MPs.(Ajith Siriwardana and Yohan Perera)