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Monday, 16 March 2015 10:40

Cabinet empowers Maithri, Ranil and CBK

Published in Provincial News

The Cabinet of Ministers yesterday decided to entrust President Maithripala Sirisena, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and former President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga with the task of holding discussions and arriving at a final decision on dissolution of Parliament on April 23.

"They will also discuss view points that have been expressed by parties of the opposition on dissolution of Parliament and other important reforms, and will come up with final solutions," a senior Cabinet Minister told the Daily News on Sunday evening.

 

Meanwhile, the Cabinet Spokesman told media that the ministers agreed on the draft Bill of the 19th amendment to the constitution. A gazette notification with regard to the amendment is expected to be issued soon, highly placed government sources said on Sunday.

 

The draft Bill was circulated among members of the Cabinet by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe last Thursday. Commenting on the draft Bill at the weekly Cabinet meeting last Thursday, Ministers Patali Champika Ranawaka and Rajitha Senaratne raising objections, stating that it did not take into consideration all the amendments proposed by the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP).

 

As a result, President Maithripala Sirisena convened a special Cabinet meeting yesterday (15) evening at the Presidential Secretariat to iron out differences between the coalition partners of the government over the matter.

 

"The Cabinet meeting on Sunday was peaceful and cordial," the Minister told the Daily News.

 

Meanwhile, the Cabinet, on Sunday, unanimously agreed on reduction of the Presidential term from six years to five years, provision for a citizen to challenge the President under fundamental rights jurisdiction of the Supreme Court,terms of Presidential pardon and two-term restriction on re-election of a President. They also agreed on the provisions on appointment of Cabinet ministers, definition of the head of state and the head of government, and prevention of arbitrary dissolution of Parliament.

 

When contacted by the Daily News, UNP General Secretary Minister Kabir Hashim said no party should be stringent on their demands when it comes to constitutional amendments.

 

"Every party should be ready to compromise on their demands and then only we can iron out differences," he added.

 

However, no final decision was made at the Cabinet meeting on Sunday on holding the forthcoming General Election under the new electoral system.