Cabinet sets a limit on the number of Ministers in proposed 20A

ECONOMYNEXT- The Cabinet has approved three changes to the proposed 20th Amendment to be presented at the committee stage apart from changes to be done based on the determination of the Supreme Court.

Speaking at the cabinet briefing Co-Cabinet Spokesman Udaya Gammanpila said that the government has decided to limit the number of Cabinet Ministers to 30 and state ministers to 40 as originally enacted in the 19A.

He said that it was also decided to retain the power given to the Auditor General to audit state institutions, including the offices of the President and the Prime Minister as per the 19A to the constitution.

Further, he said when bringing emergency Bills to Parliament, the cabinet has decided to limit the fields to national security and national disaster management.

Today in Parliament Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena reading the determination of the Supreme Court said that clauses 3,5,14 and 22 in the proposed 20th amendment to the constitution requires approval by the people through a referendum to be made law as those clauses in present form have inconsistencies with Article 3 and 4 of the constitution.

However, he said such inconsistencies in clauses 3 and 14 could be eased by amending in accordance with the proposed committee stage amendments and inconsistency in clause 5 would cease if clause 5 suitably amended as specified in the determination.

Accordingly, clause 3 of the 20th amendment refers to the powers and function of the President which is included in the 20th amendment by repealing Article 33 of the constitution.

Clause 5 refers to the Immunity of the President from suit, clause 14 refers to Powers of the President to summon, prorogue and dissolve Parliament and clause 22 refers to the offences any public officer has to face due to failure of complying to the directions given by the Election Commission in holding elections and referendum as mentioned in Article 104GG which was completely repealed in the 20th amendment. (Colombo/Oct20/2020)

Reported by Imesh Ranasinghe

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