Written by Staff Writer
26 May, 2015 | 8:51 pm
Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka, the President’s nominee for the constitutional council, claims that nominations are yet to be made for the three impartial civil members of the council.
Legal experts say that as a result of the Constitutional Council not being established as yet, commissions under its purview have become inactive. The constitutional council, as enacted by the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, comprises of ten members.
The Prime Minister, Speaker and Opposition Leader are automatic appointments to the constitutional council. The President too must nominate an MP to represent him on the constitutional council.
The President must also appoint five nominees of the Prime Minister and the Opposition Leader, two of whom must be MPs while the other three must be civil representatives. The remaining position on the Constitutional Council would be taken up by an MP, elected by the majority of parliament, who should not be from the parties or independent groups of the Prime Minister or the Opposition Leader.
The Constitutional Council is chaired by the Speaker.
Presidential Nominee for the Constitutional Council Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka expressed the following views:
” The President has appointed his nominee. The Prime Minister has announced his nominee and so has the Opposition Leader. The nominee who is not from the parties of the Prime Minister or the Opposition Leader has also been appointed. All that is left now is the appointment of the three civil representatives who are not MPs. When they are nominated as per the agreement of the Prime Minister and the Opposition Leader, the Constitutional Council will be established. The Council must then convene, and submit their nominations for the other commissions to the President. The President has appointed me. I will represent the President on the Constitutional Council.”
Nevertheless, certain legal experts point out that the failure to establish the constitutional council as yet has resulted in commissions under its purview being rendered inactive.
”As a result of the 19th amendment, several commissions have been rendered inactive. This is because the commissions must be appointed by the constitutional council, post 19th amendment. These include the Finance Commission, the Police Commission, the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption and the Human Rights Commission. These key commissions have become inactive after the enactment of the 19th amendment because that power has been conferred on the Constitutional Council.”
It is opined that there is still uncertainty as to whether the Constitutional Council will be established before or after the general election.
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