Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa was elected twice as President, Under executive presidency, head of the state possesses all relevant executive powers. In 2010, he adopted an amendment to the Constitution allowing him to contest any number of times.
Mr. Sirisena’s present government restored the two-term limit in 2015 through the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, Hence Sri Lanka’s former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, who is constitutionally barred from contesting again to become President, has opted to support a proposal to abolish the executive presidency.
Bandula Gunawardena, chairperson of Mr. Rajapaksa’s ‘Joint Opposition’, told reporters on Tuesday that Mr. Rajapaksa has conveyed this to Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake, who has given the proposal to abolish the executive presidency.
Next session on May 8
“But Parliament must be dissolved to hold a general election on the same day the constitutional change is approved,” Mr. Gunawardena said. The JVP was to move a constitutional amendment to abolish the executive presidency, in existence since 1978. However, a decision last week by President Maithripala Sirisena to suspend Parliament’s current session has upset the plan. It has to be brought now in the next session of Parliament beginning on May 8.
Abolishing Exec Presidency JVP to submit 20-A proposal JO says will support
Joint Opposition (JO), on the same day, stated that they, including former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, would support the JVP’s proposal to abolish the Executive Presidency. JO MP Bandula Gunawardana added that former President Mahinda Rajapaksa had informed the JVP about their decision to support the motion. “However, an additional proposal should be included to the said motion that Parliament would be dissolved on the same day the proposal gets passed,” JO MP Bandula Gunawardana told journalists during a press conference in Colombo.