By KRISHAN FRANCIS, Related Press
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — Sri Lanka’s Parliament by a big majority has accredited a constitutional modification concentrating powers underneath President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and reversing reforms a earlier authorities had made to curb authoritarianism.
After the August elections gave him the parliamentary votes to vary the constitution, Rajapaksa had mentioned the modification can be his authorities’s precedence as a result of the diminished presidential powers hindered his work.
The twentieth Modification to the structure was handed late Thursday with a 91-vote majority with 156 lawmakers within the 225-member Parliament voting in favor. Sixty-five lawmakers voted towards.
With the change, Rajapaksa will be capable to maintain ministries, in addition to appoint and sack ministers. He may even be the appointing authority of the elections, public service, police, human rights, bribery or corruption investigation commissions.
These commissions had been perceived as unbiased with a constitutional council comprising of lawmakers from totally different political events and civil personalities making the appointments. With the modification, the constitutional council is abolished for a parliamentary council whose observations the president will not be certain to implement.
The president also can dissolve Parliament after two years and 6 months of the Legislature being elected as an alternative of the earlier legislation that prohibited him from dissolving Parliament till six months earlier than its five-year time period ends.
Rajapaksa additionally overcame inner opposition to a clause that lifted a ban on twin residents holding political workplace.
This can pave the best way for a sibling who’s a U.S. citizen to enter Parliament, additional strengthening Rajapaksa household’s maintain on Sri Lanka’s political energy. At present, Rajapaksa’s older brother, former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, is prime minister. One other older brother and three nephews are additionally lawmakers — three of them ministers.
Rajapaksa renounced his U.S citizenship final yr to run for president.
The modification was handed with a number of adjustments as a result of the Supreme Courtroom had earlier decided sure clauses within the unique proposals had been towards folks’s sovereignty and so they wanted approval in a public referendum to grow to be legislation.
Accordingly, the federal government introduced again clauses enabling residents to problem a president’s actions in court docket, subjecting the president’s workplace to monetary audit and making the president answerable to Parliament. Additionally, a proposal that allowed the president to dissolve Parliament after yr of the Legislature’s election was modified to 2 years and 6 months.
Sri Lanka has been dominated underneath a robust govt presidential system since 1978 however a reformist authorities in 2015 clipped a lot of the president’s powers and gave them over to the Parliament and unbiased commissions, saying successive presidents had been extra authoritarian.
Nevertheless, Rajapaksa mentioned diminished powers has deterred him from performing his duties.
Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This materials will not be printed, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.