Crossovers taboo under 20 A – MP’s will NOT be able to make big money to cross over which is a political culture of Sri Lanka

The 20th Amendment to the Constitution (20A) proposed by the JVP has prevented crossovers of MPs against the collective decision of the party, JVP Leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake said.

The MP, speaking at a press conference at the Party Headquarters in Battaramulla yesterday to brief on the content of the 20A to abolish the Executive Presidency, said cheating voters by crossovers has become a common occurrence leading to instability in Parliament.

“The people’s mandate gets distorted as a result of such crossovers.

When the party initiates disciplinary actions against such MPs, they obtain stay orders from the District Courts. This prevents the party from taking action against any such MP till his term ends. We have proposed in the 20A that no court has the power to suspend or issue stay orders on the disciplinary action taken by political parties,” he said.

“Any MP, whose membership was cancelled by the party, can go before the Supreme Court seeking a judgment to resolve his/her matter,” MP Dissanayake said. The MP, however, pointed out that hardly any legislation can stop MPs being bought over for money, adding that it was a case of the deteriorating political culture of the country.

As per the 20A, Parliament will not get dissolved in its first two years even if the annual budget gets defeated for the first and second time. “If the Budget gets defeated, the Government has the chance to amend and present it again. Parliament will get dissolved only if the Budget gets defeated thrice,” the JVP leader explained.

He pointed out the powers vested in the President under the Public Security Ordinance have not been revised by the 20A.

“The President’s powers to act during any emergency situation remain the same. His powers to appoint the Governors also remain,” MP Dissanayake said countering the claims that the proposed Amendments are a threat to the country’s security.

The 20A also requires the President to seek Cabinet approval when granting Presidential pardons. The number of Presidential Staff should also be approved by the Cabinet. The President, once elected by Parliament, cannot hold any position or membership of a political party during his/her tenure. The draft legislation has removed the President’s powers to dissolve or prorogue Parliament.

The proposed Constitutional Amendment, if passed in Parliament, comes into effect from January 8, 2020 and Parliament has to be dissolved within a month after that.

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