Sri Lankan govt tables Bill giving sweeping powers to the President

Topics sri lanka | rajapaksa

If passed, the Bill would allow Gotabaya to dissolve Parliament and would give him full immunity against any prosecution
The Sri Lankan government's proposed 20th Constitution Amendment Bill that aims to bolster the powers of the President was tabled in Parli­ament on Tuesday, ending speculation that its presentation would be delayed amidst internal resistance from within the ruling party led by the powerful Rajapaksa family.


The government on September 2 gazetted 20A, the new proposed legislation that would replace the 19th Amendment introduced in 2015 that curtailed the powers of the President and strengthened the role of Parliament.


The 19A was seen as the most progressive pro-democracy reformist move since Sri Lanka came to be governed under the all-powerful executive presidency in 1978.


It depoliticised the government administration by ensuring the independence of key pillars such as the judiciary, public service, and elections. The 20th Amendment proposes to restore full legal immunity to the President, removing the provisions made in 19A to take legal action against the President. Amidst an uproar by the Opposition in Parliament on Tuesday, Justice Minister Ali Sabri tabled the Bll which was the original gazette issued by the government on September 3.

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