Sky is the limit for next Sri Lanka cabinet

COLOMBO (EconomyNext) – An attempt to limit the number of ministers to 45 in a future national unity government has been shot down following protests from opposition from Mahajana Eksath Peramuna Leader Dinesh Gunawardene clearing the way for a jumbo cabinet.
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The 19th amendment has a limit of 30 cabinet ministers. But it suggested a cap of 45 ministers and 55 deputies in the event of a unity government comprising two or more of the main political parties in parliament.
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But Gunawardene opposed the limit and called Parliament to allow any number of ministers to be appointed in a unity government.
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JVP’s Anura Dissanayake suggested that the limit of 100 ministers and deputy ministers to remain but parliament to decide the total subject to the upper limit.
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But Gunewardene continued to push for the removal of the upper limit, which was finally accepted by the administration.
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"So the next national government can have any number of ministers, even 150," Deputy Foreign Minister Ajith Perera said in the sidelines of media briefing Thursday.
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The 19A amendment was passed amid severe filibustering by sections of the United National People’s Alliance coalition of the ousted Rajapaksa regime.
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Opposition members undermined a move to make the public sector fully independent, by appointing a majority of politicians to a Constitutional Council that oversees the public service and politicizing it again.
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The Council will have the President, Prime Minister and Speaker as ex-officio members and 5 other politicians, instead of 7 non-politicians as was planned.
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However Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe said he intended to make it a majority of non-political members in the future, perhaps after the next election.

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