In his policy statement presented to Parliament on August 20 President Gotabaya Rajapaksa outlined his Government’s plans for the forthcoming year.
Among the measures he proposed was the one relating to the removal of the 19th Amendment as a prelude to enacting a new Constitution.
The President in his satement to Parliament expressed his intention in the following words:
“The basis of the success of a democratic state is its constitution. Our Constitution, which has been amended 19 times, since 1978, has many ambiguities and uncertainties, presently resulting in confusion. As the people have given us the mandate we wanted for a constitutional amendment, our first task will be to remove the 19th Amendment to the Constitution. After that, all of us will get together to formulate a new constitution suitable for the country. In this, priority will be given to the concept of one country, one law for all the people.”
“An unstable Parliament that cannot take firm decisions and succumbs to extremist influences very often is not suitable for a country. While introducing a new constitution, it is essential to make changes to the current electoral system. While retaining the salutary aspects of the proportional representation system, these changes will be made to ensure stability of the Parliament and people’s direct representation.”