While claiming that the 20th Amendment to the Constitution which was gazetted today was anti-democratic and anti-people, the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) said today it was something like going back to the tribal era where power was centralised on one leader.
JVP leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake told a news conference that the government was planning to go back to uncivility from civility through the proposed constitutional amendment.
“In the tribal era, the leader of the tribe had all the power on him. The government is trying to go back to the tribal era from democracy and uncivility from civility through the 20A. This amendment allows the President to interfere in legislature and judiciary affecting their independence,” he said.
He said the President has taken over the powers vested on the Constitutional Council (CC) to appoint Chief Justice and Judges to the Courts and members to the independent commissions.
“We admit that there were shortcomings in the functioning of the independent commissions. What should have been done was to rectify the shortcomings and strengthen the commissions. Now, the independence of the commissions has been removed and members who are in the control of the President will be appointed. The power to appoint the Attorney General was also taken over by the President,” he said.
Mr. Dissanayake said the President has taken over powers vested on the Parliament, Cabinet and the Prime Minister.
“The Prime Minister will be someone without any power now,” he said.
He said the limit of the Cabinet of Ministers have been removed in the 20A which enables the President to decide on the number of ministers and deputy ministers in the Cabinet.
The MP also criticised the moves to remove the clause on dual citizenship and immunity of the President claiming that they were against the government’s pledges and policies.(Ajith Siriwardana)