May 28, Colombo: The proposed 21st Amendment to the Constitution would reduce the powers of the President and give them to the Prime Minister and parliament, but neither Ranil Wickremesinghe nor the current parliament is suitable to use such powers says the Leader of the JVP Anura Kumara Dissanayake.
Speaking at a media briefing held at the JVP head office Friday, Dissanayake said even though the President himself proves that he is not fit for the chair, he has a constitutional and 20th Amendment right to hold his position as the Head of the State but the 21st Amendment will give the Prime Minister some of the President’s powers.
However, current Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and any Member of Parliament who is appointed as the Prime Minister from this Parliament is not qualified to obtain those new powers, the JVP leader argued.
He said as the Prime Minister has new powers in Parliament, the people must be given the opportunity to elect a new Parliament and a new Prime Minister to exercise that new power.
“Parliament and the Prime Minister are elected by the people with the understanding that they wield the relevant power. It is not justifiable for a person who could not even get elected to Parliament now to get more powers through the 21st Amendment. Since the 21st Amendment gives new powers to Parliament and the Prime Minister, a new Parliament must be elected to exercise those powers. The term of office of this Parliament should be limited by including an interim resolution in the 21st Amendment that would be specific to this Parliament only,” the JVP leader said.
MP Dissanayake said the Minister of Justice has given the draft of the 21st Amendment to his party and JVP also has been requested to send proposals in writing. The party hopes to submit their proposals in writing to the Minister of Justice.
The JVP leader said when the draft is passed, it must first be gazette and should be presented in Parliament. Then it should come to the Consultative Committee of Parliament. After that, it should come to the Consultative Committee of the Ministry of Justice.
“At such times we look forward to presenting our suggestions and ideas. It has to come to Parliament to get passed. We hope to present our amendments to Parliamentary Committees. We don’t believe that negotiations inside palaces would bear any fruit,” Anura Kumara Dissanayake said.