19th amendment curbed the powers of the President : PM

19th amendment curbed the powers of the President : PM

Written by Staff Writer

03 Sep, 2019 | 9:54 pm

Colombo(News1st) – Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, who is on an official visit in the Maldives, addressed the People’s Majlis today (September 3).
Prime Minister Wickremesinghe arrived at the Maldivian Parliament on an invitation extended by Speaker and former President of the Maldives Mohamed Nasheed.

Speaking at the event the PM stated that in both countries, executive power is vested in the President. However, in Sri Lanka, it is the Cabinet of Ministers, which includes the President, that is in charge of the direction and control of the Government. He stated that the Cabinet of Ministers is also collectively responsible to the Parliament adding that the President is tasked with appointing the Prime Minister who is likely to command the most support in Parliament. He further continued that this position was upheld by the Court of Appeal in 2018 when it issued an interim order restraining Mahinda Rajapaksa, the former President, from functioning as Prime Minister, despite being appointed by the President, since 122 of the 225 Members of Parliament were opposed to him. He reasoned that the 19th Amendment further strengthened the Parliament by restricting the President’s powers to dissolve Parliament. ” In October 2018, the President purported to dissolve Parliament without such a resolution but the Supreme Court held that this dissolution to be unconstitutional”. Prior to the 19th amendment, the President had near-total immunity from suit”, he added. He highlighted that this was restricted by the 19th Amendment which provided for official acts of the President to be reviewable by the Supreme Court under its fundamental rights jurisdiction adding that the dissolution of Parliament in 2018 was declared unconstitutional under this provision.

Speaking in Parliament, Speaker Mohamed Nasheed has stated that democracy in Sri Lanka is stable and that power in Sri Lanka can only be through democratic ways and people’s votes.

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