+20A is an amateur’s work

Monday, 28 May 2018


As all of us know, the Constitution is the supreme law of the country.  Hence, legal dons have reserved constitutional amendments for constitutional experts. Even legal experts do not touch it without expertise in constitutional law.  Unfortunately, the JVP has assigned an amateur to draft the 20th Amendment to the Constitution.

Instead of explaining complicated legal matters, let me quote a simple example.  According to the bill, executive presidency will be abolished with effect from 09.01.2020.  However, in terms of Article 31(3), the presidential election shall be held not less than one month and not more than two months before the expiration of the term of the president in office.  The term of the present president will be ended on 09.01.2020.  Hence, the next presidential election should be held on a date between 9 November and 9 December 2019.  The newly elected president has two weeks to take his oath.  It means he can assume the office on 23 December 2019.  The executive presidency will be abolished 16 days after assuming office by the newly elected president.  Why should we waste billions of Rupees of public funds for an election if the president can hold the office only for 16 days?

A conspiracy to transfer executive powers to PM Ranil Wickremasinghe

MP Anura Kumara repeatedly says that they were not in a conspiracy to transfer executive powers to PM Ranil Wickremasinghe.  He can say so, only if he has not studied the bill handed over to Parliament by him, himself.  According to the Bill, executive presidency will be abolished on 09.01.2020.  Thereafter, head of government and head of cabinet will be the prime minister.  Who will be the PM by this date? Since there will be no parliamentary election before that date, Mr Ranil Wickremasinghe will function as the prime minister.

This amateur work is full of mistakes.  This kind of media briefings are not the forum to critically analyze a legislative bill.  Hence, I challenge proponent of the bill MP Anura Kumara to join me for a public debate on the 20th Amendment.  I do not mind debating with the author of this bill instead of MP Anura Kumara.