New constitution: PM presents resolution
January 9, 2016 10:57 am
Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe today presented in Parliament a Resolution for the appointment of the Constitutional Assembly for the purpose of formulating a new Constitution for Sri Lanka.
“We will have the whole Parliament formulating the constitution unlike the previous instances when the constitutions were drafted outside parliament,” he said.
The new constitution will replace the current executive President-headed Constitution adopted in 1978.
The resolution, presented by the PM during a special session of Parliament on Saturday, proposes the establishing of a Committee of Parliament referred to as the ‘Constitutional Assembly’ which shall consist of all Members of Parliament, for the purpose of deliberating, and seeking the views and advice of the People, on a new Constitution for Sri Lanka, and preparing a draft of a Constitution Bill for the consideration of Parliament in the exercise of its powers under Article 75 of the Constitution.
The Speaker of Parliament shall be the Chairman of the Constitutional Assembly while there will be seven Deputy Chairmen of the Constitutional Assembly, who shall be elected by the Constitutional Assembly.
There shall be Constitutional Advisors to the Constitutional Assembly, a Legal Secretary to the Constitutional Assembly and assistants to such Legal Secretary.
There will be Sub-Committees of the Constitutional Assembly such as the Steering Committee consisting of the Prime Minister (Chairman), Leader of the House of Parliament, Leader of the Opposition, the Minister of Justice, and not more than seventeen other Members of the Constitutional Assembly to be appointed by the Constitutional Assembly.
The Steering Committee shall be responsible for the business of the Constitutional Assembly and for preparing a Draft of a new Constitution for Sri Lanka.
President Maithripala Sirisena will also make a special speech in Parliament today, regarding the converting of parliament into a Constituent Assembly to create 3rd Republican Constitution.
The Government is set to move a resolution in Parliament to convert the House into a Constitutional Assembly which will initiate the process of drafting a new Constitution and abolishing the executive presidential system.
The government has noticed the Parliament of the motion to convert the House into a Constitutional Assembly and it has been placed in the parliamentary order book.
The order paper of parliament states that there is broad agreement among the People of Sri Lanka that it is necessary to enact a new Constitution for Sri Lanka.
“People have at the Presidential Election held on 08th January, 2015 given a clear mandate for establishing a political culture that respects the rule of law and strengthens democracy and the President has clearly expressed his desire to give effect to the will of the People expressed at the aforesaid Presidential Election by enacting a new Constitution that, inter alia, abolishing the Executive Presidency.”
The government states that it has become necessary to enact a new Constitution that, inter alia, abolishes the Executive Presidency, ensures a fair and representative Electoral System which eliminates preferential voting, strengthens the democratic rights of all citizens, provides a Constitutional Resolution of the national issue, promotes national reconciliation, establishes a political culture that respects the rule of law, guarantees to the People’s fundamental rights and freedom that assure human dignity and promotes responsible and accountable government.