ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s main opposition the Samagi Jana Balavegaya on Thursday (21) presented to the secretary general of parliament a draft 21st constitutional amendment bill with proposals including the abolition of the current executive presidential system.
According to a Twitter thread by lawyer Suren Fernando, who was a national list nominee for the SJB in 2020, the proposals are as follows:
1) Abolish current executive presidential system: Parliament to elect president
2) The cabinet of ministers will be continuously accountable and responsible to parliament; can be removed by no confidence motion
3) Reduction of maximum cabinet ministers to 25, maximum of non-cabinet and deputy ministers to 25. No increase of ministers in event of coalition government
4) Stringent provisions to prevent corrupt crossovers
5) Establish Constitutional Council and independent commissions including Audit & Procurement Commissions
6) Constitutional recognition of the National Security Council
7) Establish a State Council to obtain advice of experts/public representations on matters of public importance
8) Re-establishing constitutional democracy and protecting sovereignty of people through the above
UPDATE: SJB parliamentarian Harsha de Silva on Thursday shared a summary of the objectives and principles of the 21st amendment bill.
One of the objectives is to abolish the executive presidential system and replace it with a system that reinforces constitutional democracy founded on the separation of powers and checks and balances. A more complete list is as follows:
@sjbsrilanka presented proposed 21A bill to SG of @ParliamentLK. Proposals include:
1) Abolish current Executive Presidency: Parliament to elect President
2) Cabinet will be continuously accountable & responsible to Parliament, can be removed by no confidence motion
— Suren Fernando (@SurenFernando) April 21, 2022
On April 05, SJB and opposition leader Sajith Premadasa called for the abolition of Sri Lanka’s all-powerful executive presidency. He said parliament must also be strengthened without paving the way to a similarly dictatorial premiership while ensuring adequate checks and balances.