Sri Lanka parliament passes ‘22nd Amendment to the Constitution’ curbing presidential powers

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Sri Lanka parliament
Sri Lanka parliament

Oct 21, Colombo: The Bill entitled “Twenty Second Amendment to the Constitution” was passed with amendments by the House today (October 21st) with a two-third majority.

During the division for the second reading of the 22nd Amendment to the Constitution Bill, 179 parliamentarians voted in favor of the bill and only one MP voted against.

Only ruling party Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) Member of Parliament Sarath Weerasekera voted against it. A total of 45 MPs were absent.

The two-day parliamentary debate on the second reading of the 22nd Amendment to the Constitution Bill commenced on Thursday (Oct. 20) and a division was taken at the end of the debate.

At the Committee stage, the Third Reading of the Bill was passed by the House, with a majority of two-thirds. When a Division was taken 174 voted in favor and no votes against while one abstained and the Bill was passed with amendments.

Accordingly, the speaker informed the House that the third reading of the 22nd Constitution Amendment Bill was passed with amendments.

Justice, Prisons Affairs and Constitutional Reforms Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe presented the Bill entitled ‘Twenty Second Amendment to the Constitution’ to amend the Constitution on 10 August.

The bill was challenged in the Supreme Court and the apex court cleared the Bill on 6 September ruling that it could be adopted with a two-thirds majority in Parliament and some clauses requiring a nationwide referendum.

The Bill aims to empower parliament over the executive president and curbs some of the powers of the president. It will annul the 20th Amendment to the Constitution which gave unfettered powers to the President abolishing the 19th Amendment passed during the Yahapalana government.

Under the 22nd Amendment, the President, the Cabinet of Ministers and the National Council will be held accountable to the parliament. Fifteen Committees and Oversight Committees are also accountable to parliament.

One of the key provisions in 22nd Amendment is disqualifying dual-citizens from contesting elections in Sri Lanka.

Source – Colombopage

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