National Executive Council mulls banning crossovers

Anura Kumara Dissanayake

JVP leader and MP Anura Kumara Dissanayake yesterday revealed that among far reaching constitutional reforms that had been discussed by the National Executive Council were restricting a single parliamentary term to five years from present six and Parliament could be dissolved only after the completion of four and half years subject to approval by a two-thirds majority in the House.

The JVPer was addressing the media at party headquarters at Battaramulla, Pelawatte.

MP Dissanayake emphasized that constitutional safeguards were necessary to prevent dissolution of Parliament to pursue political agendas that were inimical to national interest.

The National Executive Council included President Maithripala Sirisena, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, JVP Leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake, JHU leader Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka, Democratic Party leader Sarath Fonseka and leader of All Ceylon Muslim Congress Minister Rishad Bathiudeen.

However, the next parliamentary election, too, would be held under the present PR system for want of time and space to introduce the required constitutional reforms, MP Dissanayake said. However, an amendment would be introduced to prevent members from switching allegiance to other political parties at the expense of their own parties, he said.

The JVP leader stressed that perhaps one of the most significant proposals was that a particular member of a political party switching allegiance would lose his seat subject to Supreme Court approval.

Commenting on Sri Lankans with dual citizenship, MP Dissanayake said that the JVP wouldn’t oppose such persons engaged in politics. However, in case they wanted to contest national level election, they should be prepared to give up the citizenship of the other country.

President Maithripala Sirisena, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, JVP Leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake, JHU leader Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka, Democratic Party leader Sarath Fonseka, and leader of All Ceylon Muslim Congress Minister Rishad Bathiudeen had attended the first meeting, MP‚ÄąDissanayake said.

The JVP chief lashed out at the previous government for bringing in a law in 2007 to allow Basil Rajapaksa to contest national level election with declaring his assets in the US. Pointing out that the former Economic Development Minister had fled the country immediately after his brother Mahinda Rajapaksa’s defeat, the JVPer said, noting that tough laws were needed to prevent such occurrences in the future.

(The Island)