Amendments to Constitution will be given priority -Keheliya | Sunday Observer

Amendments to Constitution will be given priority -Keheliya

State Minister of Investment promotions and Government Spokesman Keheliya Rambukwella said that the proposed amendment to the Constitution will be given due consideration and “will be looked at seriously if facts are okay”.

The Minister made these comments in response to the query made by Sunday Observer on the Private Members Bill gazetted by MP Wijedasa Rajapaksa.

The MP seeks to bring in several changes to the Constitution that will result in almost reverting the amendments introduced by the 19th Amendment. Gazetted as the 21st and 22nd amendments to the Constitution, provides for the President to be able to hold any ministerial portfolio including defence.

MP Rajapaksa informed media that this was with the intention of clearing out the grey area that has surfaced with the introduction of the 19th Amendment.

The 21st amendment provides that the minimum percentage of votes a party should secure must be increased up to 12. 5% from the existing 5%.

Through the 22nd amendment to the constitution, he had proposed to strengthen certain powers of the president which includes making appointments to the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeal with the views of the Judicial Service Commission (JSC).This will circumvent the need for such appointments to go through the constitutional council.

The amendment also proposes the president to be vested with the power to make appointments to the JSC.Other powers include making appointments to the posts of Attorney General, Auditor General, Inspector General of Police, Commissioner of Parliamentary Affairs and the Secretary-General of Parliament.

The amendment proposes that the President may obtain the views of the Prime Minister in making such appointments.

The proposed amendment also limits the number of Cabinet, non-Cabinet and deputy ministers to 30.