Two-thirds essential to remove Constitutional barriers | Daily News


President reiterates call for stronger Government

Two-thirds essential to remove Constitutional barriers

‘One term enough if given free hand’

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa requested a strong Government to carry forward his policies after the General Elections, observing that one term of office is enough for him if he was allowed to perform his duties without hindrance.

Speaking to the Heads of Media at the Presidential Secretariat yesterday, the President said that he requests the two thirds majority in Parliament to remove the Constitutional barriers that prevents him from delivering what the people expected from him.

“The 19th Amendment to the Constitution, which was done without proper planning or thinking, has blurred the lines of the Executive and the Legislature, creating unnecessary problems when ruling the country. Those who made 19th Amendment admitted it later. There should be clear demarcation of power among the Executive, Legislature and the Judiciary. Under the existing system, the people have elected an Executive President and expect him to deliver. If the Constitution does not allow him to do so, what it is the purpose of having such a Constitution?,” he questioned.

Asked by journalists of his own assessment on his first 100-days in office, the President said the performance was not up to a full satisfactory level as per his own standards. “We have done many things, but that is not enough.”

Observing that he is satisfied over most of the appointments made to the public institutions, he however said he would assess the performances of some appointees he was not satisfied with. “They have been given time to prove their mettle, if they could not I will remove them,” he said.

Replying to a question on appointing retired military personnel to various Government positions, the President said that those appointments were based on their experience, talents and skills. “They have got an excellent training when they were in the military and are capable of giving leadership to result oriented activities. Why not harness their experiences and knowledge? They have also received foreign training. Nobody questioned when retired military personnel were given civil appointments during the last Government. Compared to the previous Government, I have made only a few appointments,” he noted.

Responding to another question, the President said that he would attend the political rallies of the SLPP at the upcoming General Elections, whilst denying claims he was not a member of it.

Asked about the controversy surrounding the call for not giving nominations to individuals with dubious backgrounds, the President said: “It is up to the people to send only competent candidates to Parliament and reject others. I am neither in the Nomination Board, nor do I send any name to the National List. I am not a Chairman of any party. Those running for the Parliamentary Elections would not require expensive poster campaigns, if they take my example. I did not criticize anybody on the election stage. I did not mention my opponent’s name even once.” Commenting on the Independent Commissions appointed in the wake of the 19th Amendment, the President pointed out that the appointees to the Independent Commissions must be “truly independent”, and that they cannot have political agendas in mind. “For example, an Election Commission member spoke and wrote in a partial manner during the last election. Then the independence of that commission could be questioned. What do we expect from a National Police Commission? If the aim is to make the Police service independent, then do we admit that the IGP is not independent? The IGP is appointed from among the senior police personnel who are well experienced. If we cannot have the faith in the IGP, can we have faith in an independent commission, which is also appointed by the Government? My stance is that we should give more powers to the IGP to work independently,” he explained.

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