Sri Lanka: Supreme Court says constitutional amendment need referendum

WION Web Team New Delhi Oct 21, 2020, 08.46 AM(IST) Oct 21, 2020, 08.50 AM(IST)

Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa (File photo) Photograph:( Reuters )

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20th amendment in Sri Lankan constitution has been a much-debated issue in Sri Lanks and beyond. There are fears in some quarters the too much centralisation of power in the hands of the president would make prime ministerial office and the parliament ceremonial institutions

Sri Lanka's Supreme Court on Tuesday said four sections of a proposed constitutional amendment that seeks to consolidate all power in the hands of the president will require a public referendum for them top become a law. The court said that these four sections undermined the sovereignty of the people.

These section of the proposed amendment seek to relieve the president from being responsible to the parliament, give him immunity against lawsuits. These sections also seek to give power to the president to dissolve the parliament after one year in the office.

Sri Lankan Supreme Court said that if appropriate changes were not made, a referendum would be necessary.

20th amendment in Sri Lankan constitution has been a much-debated issue in Sri Lanks and beyond. There are fears in some quarters the too much centralisation of power in the hands of the president would make prime ministerial office and the parliament ceremonial institutions.

A per current laws, Sri Lankan president can be challenged in court. He cannot dissolve the parliament until last 6 months before his five-year term ends.

The amendments are due to be debated in the parliament on Wednesday (October 21).

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