Will back 21A if it bolsters democracy – JVP

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The Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) will back the 21st Amendment to the Constitution if it is amended to strengthen democracy, JVP Leader, MP Anura Kumara Dissanayake said.

The JVP also believes that the Constitution, which has been amended on various occasions, should be completely amended and a new system of governance should be introduced.

However, Dissanayake said the amendments shouldn’t turn out to be a hoax.

Speaking to the Media on 27 May at JVP Headquarters, Dissanayake presented some proposals to be included in the 21st Amendment.

He said the President should not be able to hold any ministerial portfolio as stated in the 19th Amendment.

He also said provisions should be made in this constitutional amendment to prevent MPs from switching sides.

While claiming that the President has been empowered to pardon anyone and release those sentenced to death or life imprisonment, he said the President’s powers should be curtailed.

He also emphasised the term of this Parliament should be shortened by including an interim provision in this amendment.

“Our proposal is to limit the term of the Ninth Parliament to two to three years. After that, the people will have the opportunity to elect Parliamentarians and a Prime Minister through a fresh Parliamentary Election. Such a Parliament and a Prime Minister should be empowered by the 21st Amendment,” he said.

“The President has proved that he is not fit for office, but constitutionally and under the 20th Amendment he has the right to hold that position. However, the 21st Amendment gives the Prime Minister some of the powers vested in him,” he further added.

He said as the Prime Minister has new powers in Parliament, the people must be given the opportunity to elect a new Parliament and a new Prime Minister to exercise that power.

By Aloka Kasturiarachchi