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Changing 19th Amendment SLPP priority – MR

The first priority of the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna will be to examine the 19th Amendment to the Constitution with a view towards making changes to it, the Leader of the Opposition Mahinda Rajapaksa said in a statement issued yesterday, Nov 18.

He said that the Presidential Election held on Saturday which brought his brother Gotabaya to power was “different from other Presidential Elections” because of the “complications of the system of governance” brought about by this amendment.

“After the President takes the oaths, we will be immediately studying the provisions of the 19th Amendment and planning our future course of action accordingly,” he added.

The 19th Amendment to the Constitution passed by Parliament by a two-thirds majority reduced the power of the Executive Presidency and empowered the National Police Commission, the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka, the Constitutional Council and the National Elections Commission which has significantly democratized Sri Lanka’s system of governance.

Rajapaksa and the Parliamentary Group headed by him known as the Joint Opposition voted in favor of the 19th Amendment, with the current Chairman of the SLPP Prof G L Peries being a key architect of the law, particularly with regards to the independence of the Judiciary.

Rajapaksa added that the new administration will act to “deliver justice to people who have been subject to persecution and harassment by this government for the past five years.”

He also said that his party will bring an end to the “backroom deals” by various chauvinistic groups.

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