20A: No referendum, only two-thirds

  • Amended clauses require only two-thirds
  • 20A before Cabinet on Wednesday 

By Sarah Hannan

The draft proposal of the 20th Amendment to the Constitution that would be tabled at the Cabinet tomorrow (2) will only require a two-thirds vote, Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) Chairman and Minister of Education Prof. G.L. Peiris said at a press briefing yesterday (31 August).

“The draft of the new Constitution will only include amendments that would require a two-thirds vote of the Parliament and will not require a public opinion poll. Therefore, the adoption of the approved 20th Amendment to the Constitution will come into play in a matter of weeks,” Prof. Peiris explained, adding that the present Government no longer sees the necessity to delay adapting to the new Constitution that will be known as the 20th Amendment to the Constitution.

Moreover, the SLPP Government’s main goal is to iron out the clauses that are being continuously misinterpreted and have given rise to the downfall of the country’s governance structure.

“We believe that this amendment will fortify the powers of the first citizen of this country, i.e. the President who was appointed by a majority vote. We would like to reiterate that at no point will we as a Government look at extending the office term of the President or the term of the incumbent Government.”

Prof. Peiris also confirmed that the new Constitution will not remove the independent commissions, but will draft in clauses that would ensure that the members who are appointed would function as truly independent officers of the State, who will not be biased in their contributions to the commissions that they serve.