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Sri Lanka cabinet approves 20th amendment; AG says no referendum needed

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s cabinet of ministers endorsed a draft 20th amendment to the country’s constitution today.

Attorney General (AG) Dappula de Livera advised the Secretary to the Ministry of Justice this afternoon that the draft bill of the 20th amendment will not require a referendum, as per Article 83 of the constitution. The amendment may be enacted by with a two-thirds parliamentary majority, the AG said.

The draft amendment, to be gazetted tonight, will be debated in parliament in the coming days. The ruling Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) and parties aligned to it currently enjoy a two-thirds majority in the house.

According to sources, the amendment will change provisions in the 19th amendment with the exception of the term limit and duration of the office of the president, the duration of the parliament and the right to information act. A cabinet sub-committee was previously appointed to draft the 20th amendment, following a cabinet decision two weeks ago to abolish the 19th amendment, in line with a campaign promise made by the SLPP in the run-up to August’s parliamentary polls. (Colombo/Sep2/2020)

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