What you need to know about the Draft 20th Amendment to the Constitution

What you need to know about the Draft 20th Amendment to the Constitution

What you need to know about the Draft 20th Amendment to the Constitution

Written by Staff Writer

03 Sep, 2020 | 6:13 pm

COLOMBO (News1st): Several key provisions in the 19th constitutional amendment have been repealed, the draft 20th amendment published on Thursday showed.

The draft amendment proposes to restore full legal immunity to the President, a provision scrapped off by the 19th amendment.

Under the 19th amendment any citizen was allowed to file a case against the Attorney General in respect of anything committed by the President.

Meanwhile, the constitutional council that appointed members to independent commissions would be replaced with a parliamentary council, according to the draft.

The parliamentary council will only be allowed to exercise observational powers, and would be void of the President’s representatives and three civil representatives who were in the constitutional council.

The national procurement commission and national audit commissions established under the 19th amendment have also been scrapped off.

The appointment of the Chief Justice, Justices of the Supreme Court, Chairman and justices of the Court of Appeal, members of the Judicial services commission can be made by the president, according to the draft.

The audit commission will be abolished and will be transferred back to a system of appointing an Auditor General, who would be appointed by the president.

The President can appoint the Attorney-General, the Parliamentary Commissioner for Administration (Ombudsman), and the Secretary-General of Parliament as well.

Under the proposed 20th amendment, the President will be allowed to appoint the police commission that will appoint the police chief.

The limit on the number of ministries that was fixed at 30, would also be lifted, allowing the President to decide on the number.

The President would be allowed to dissolve Parliament in a year, as opposed to the limit of four-and-a-half years set out in the 19th amendment.

He would also be vested with the powers to remove the Prime Minister, the draft showed.

Meanwhile, the minimum age limit for a person to contest for the presidency has been reduced to 30 from 35, according to the draft.

The law barring dual citizens from entering Parliament, that was introduced in the 19th amendment, has also been revoked.

The Attorney General has said that the amendment can be passed with a two-thirds majority in Parliament and does not require a referendum.

The draft amendment can be viewed here

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