20th Amendment proposes Parliamentary Council | Daily News


20th Amendment proposes Parliamentary Council

The draft 20th Amendment to the Constitution has been gazetted by the Justice Ministry. The gazette notice was printed and published yesterday after it had received Cabinet approval, the Government said.

A number of key provisions in the 19th Amendment to the Constitution have been repealed through the proposed new Amendment.

The 20th Amendment to the Constitution has proposed a Parliamentary Council comprising the Prime Minister, Speaker, Leader of the opposition and a nominee from the Speaker and Leader of the opposition, replacing the present Constitutional Council. These nominees should also be sitting MPs. No non-MPs can represent the Parliamentary Council.

Under the 20th Amendment, the President would be empowered to appoint members of Independent Commissions, Superior Court Judges, Attorney General, Auditor General, Parliamentary Commissioner for Administration (Ombudsman) and Secretary-General of Parliament after seeking observations from the Parliamentary Council.

These appointments were earlier made by the Constitutional Council. Among the Independent Commissions are: Election Commission, Public Service Commission, National Police Commission, Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka, Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption, Finance Commission and Delimitation Commission.

According to the 20th Amendment, the President shall, from time to time, in consultation with the Prime Minister, where he considers such consultation are necessary- (a) determine the number of Ministers of the Cabinet of Ministers and the Ministries and the assignment of subjects and functions to such Ministers; and (b) appoint from among the Members of Parliament, Ministers to be in charge of the Ministries so determined. The draft 20th Amendment also gives the President more powers, strengthens Presidential Immunity and also allows dual citizens to enter Parliament.

Under the 20th Amendment, the minimum age limit for a President has been reduced to 30 from 35, the limit on the number of ministries fixed at 30 has been lifted, the President would be allowed to dissolve Parliament in a year after it first convenes and he or she would also be vested with the power to remove the Prime Minister.


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