Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe today said he had informed the relevant persons including the President that it was not possible to abolish the executive presidency without the support of all parties.
He told some UNP activists that a group of members of civil society organisations approached him recently and inquired on the pledge made by the present government to abolish the executive presidency. He said the civil organisations submitted a draft on the abolition of the executive presidency.
“ I also met TNA MP M. A. Sumanthiran in parliament earlier on September 19 and discussed the matter. He informed me that he had already discussed the matter with the JVP and also that President Maithripala Sirisena had also wanted to scrap the executive presidency” the Prime Minister said.
Prime Minister said the statement that had been made by Mr Sumanthiran to this effect had not been denied by anyone. He said the President had then asked him whether to summon a Cabinet meeting.
“I told him that it could be discussed in the Cabinet and that the draft which I received from the civil society organisations was also sent to the Cabinet Secretary,” he said.
The Prime Minister also highlighted that Minister Ravi Karunanayake never telephoned him at any point, adding that he called up a pre-Cabinet meeting where there was a voice against the scrapping of the presidency. The Prime Minister added that he told the president that it was not possible to get an approval for the scrapping of presidency as ministers hold different opinions. “ If there were issues on the matter, one should have discussed it in the Cabinet meeting without talking about it outside. Anyway, I won’t blame anyone for the situation after the meeting,” he finally said. (Yohan Perera)