Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday said he is still committed to abolishing the executive presidency in Sri Lanka.
Premier Wickremesinghe said this while addressing the Maldivian Parliament during his current visit to the South Asian nation
“The powers which the executive president enjoyed in Sri Lanka were limited by the 19th Amendment to the Constitution which was enacted in 2015. The entire Cabinet is made responsible to parliament through this piece of legislation. There is an executive president in both Maldives and in Sri Lanka. The difference is that the Cabinet and the administration of the government is the responsibility of the president while providing guidance when it comes to Sri Lanka” the Prime Minister said.
“The president in Sri Lanka has the responsibility of appointing the person who commands a majority in the House as the Prime Minister,” he said.
“President Maithripala Sirisena appointed former President Mahinda Rajapaksa as the prime minister in 2018. However, he could not function as 122 out of 225 members in parliament opposed him. In addition, the Court of Appeal issued a stay order and prevented Mr. Rajapaksa from functioning as the prime minister,” he recalled.
Speaker of Maldivian Parliament Mohammed Nashid who welcomed Prime Minister Wickremeisnghe and the delegation said Sri Lanka is a country which is the most democratically stabilised nation in South Asia. “There has been no transfer of power in Sri Lanka through illegal means,” he added.
The Maldivian Speaker presented a book on the history of parliament and politics of that country to Mr. Wickremesinghe.
Ms. Maithree Wickremesinghe, Minister of Internal Affairs Vajira Abeywardene, Minister of Higher Education and Town Planning Rauff Hakeem, Minister of Primary Industries and Social Empowerment Daya Gamage, State Minister of Petroleum Resources Anoma Gamage, Secretary to Prime Minister Saman Ekanayake , Sri Lankan Ambassador in Maldives Major General Asoka Thoradeniya and Prime Minister’s special aide Sandra Perera participated in the event.