Opposition’s demand to clip President’s powers not practical - Minister

Justice Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe yesterday said the Opposition’s calls for a Constitutional Amendment to stop the President from holding a ministry was not practical.

He said that if the Defence Ministry is removed from the President, a referendum should be held and the Opposition should understand that the country is not in such a situation.  

He was speaking to the media yesterday (29) after paying homage to the sacred Dalada Maligawa in Kandy.

“The country is in a state of economic bankruptcy. As a result there is a state of unrest in society. To save the country from this situation, political instability must first be eliminated,” the minister said.

He said that within the constitutional framework of government, the power of the Executive President to act on individual decisions should once again be vested in state institutions including Parliament. “It is very important to maintain the transparency of the government by winning the trust of the people,” he added. He said the 20th Amendment to the Constitution repealed the steps taken by the Independent Institutions introduced by the 19th Amendment to eliminate corruption, fraud and inefficiency in the public sector.

“A person with dual citizenship came to Parliament and took over the Finance Ministry and made a huge contribution to the economic destruction. They need to be rectified. That is why I joined the Government under a new Prime Minister” he added. Rajapakshe said what the Opposition needs to do at this moment is to understand what can be done in practical terms.

“We too would like the abolition of the executive presidency after consulting the people of this country. A referendum is needed for that,” he said.


by Daily News Sri Lanka

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