Opposition MPs claim they regret voting in favour of 19th amendment

Opposition MPs claim they regret voting in favour of 19th amendment

Written by Staff Writer

30 Jun, 2019 | 8:59 pm

COLOMBO (News 1st): Various parliamentarians commented on the 19th amendment to the constitution. Minister of Megapolis and Western Development, Patali Champika Ranawaka said that they had presented the 19th amendment, taken the matter to the Supreme Court and also obtained a 2/3 majority. He continued to say that they could see how the secretaries to the ministries and the state employees carrying out their duties without any fear which eventually resulted in a huge change in democracy within the country. He added that apart from proceeding forward with the change and further strengthening it that there is no need to change the constitution.

Also speaking on the matter UPFA MP Prasanna Ranatunga said that it is quite unfortunate how the members from their party had raised their hands in favour when the proposal was brought to the parliament. He further said that democracy was not established or strengthened by this as promised. The MP said that the elections which could have been held on time have been postponed for years now. The parliamentarian added that this constitution was brought to establish commissions but that it never happened as well.

UNP MP S. M. Marikkar in opposition to this statement said that commissions were established and that the appointment of state employees are not limited to political patronage either. He further continued to say that through the amendment that the elections were held every year and that the waste of public funds had also eventually stopped through it.

He said that those who criticize the 19th amendment were those who once approved and agreed to it. Marikkar added that if anyone wishes to amend the 19th amendment that it will not be made a reality under the present government as they require a 2/3 majority.

Speaking on the amendment UPFA MP Dilum Amunugama said that although he had voted in favour of the 19th amendment that today he regrets his decision. He continued to say that from what he remembers that it was only Sarath Weerasekara who refrained from voting. He further said that the 19th amendment should be altered in their tenure because it is not possible for a country to function when the President’s powers are lightened or removed. The MP added that if they aim to reduce the powers of the President that it should either be abolished or further amended.

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