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Sri Lankan Parliament adopted the 19th Amendment to the Constitution

This amendment has reduced the power of Executive President and also put into place a Constitutional Council for making key government appoints.

Apr 30, 2015 12:00 IST
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The Parliament of Sri Lanka on 28 April 2015 adopted the 19th Amendment to the Constitution. With this, the power of the Executive President will be reduced and will put into place a Constitutional Council for making key government appoints.

The amendment was adopted by two-third majority with 212 members in the 225-seat Parliament voting in favour of the amendment and one opposing it.

Features of the 19th Amendment of the Constitution
• The reforms ensure an independent judiciary
• President can’t dissolve the parliament by using his power
• It brought a two-term limit for a president and reduces the term from 6 to 5 years
• It put into place several independent commissions, which will function outside the influence of the Executive and handle key areas of governance like elections, public service, police, judiciary and others

Comment
The 19th amendment to the Constitution, were seen as critical after Sirisena’s predecessor President Mahinda Rajapaksa was accused of spearheading creeping authoritarianism during his decade in power. Further, with the passage of this amendment, Sirisena passed the litmus test of keeping his promise of bringing in reforms in presidential powers within 100 days.

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