President calls on SLFP MPs to vote for 19A

Sri Lanka President Maithripala Sirisena

President Maithripala Sirisena yesterday called upon the SLFP Members of Parliament to vote in favour of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution.

He was speaking at the SLFP Parliamentary Group meeting in Parliament yesterday where a Committee was appointed to seek room to present the 20th Amendment to the Constitution on the new electoral system and to take votes on the 19th and 20th Amendments to the Constitution.

The SLFP members asked the President to amend the electoral system too, when the President asked the SLFP MPs to vote to pass the 19th Amendment.

The SLFP parliamentarians have told the President in one voice that they would extend their support to the 19th Amendment to the Constitution provided that 19th and 20th Amendments to the Constitution are brought to parliament together.

UPFA Parliamentarian Uditha Lokubandara told the Daily News that the President in response promised to form a committee of parliamentarians who are lawyers to study the possibility of bringing the 20th Amendment to the Constitution for new electoral reforms.

Sources revealed that this Committee was appointed at a Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) Parliamentary Group meeting presided by President Maithripala Sirisena at the Parliamentary Complex yesterday.

According to sources, Parliamentarians Prof. G L Peiris, Mahinda Samarasinghe, Anura Priyadarshana Yapa, Nimal Siripala de Silva and Dilan Perera have been appointed to the Committee.

This Committee has been appointed after the SLFP members stated that they cannot support the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, if it is taken up without amending the electoral system. The members have asked that the electoral system be changed together with the 19th Amendment.

They have also maintained that they don’t object to a debate on the 19th Amendment Bill taken up on April 20 and 21. But, the vote has to be taken together with the Bill to amend the electoral system. Sources however said the SLFP Parliamentary group has also demanded to deem that Parliament be dissolved as these two amendments to the Constitution were passed.

SLFP Parliamentarians G.L. Peiris, Mahinda Samarasinghe, Anura Priyadarshana Yapa, Dilan Perera and Ranjith de Soyza also expressed their views at the meeting.

(Daily News)