Sri Lanka’s Constitution – Strides in the Right Direction

Sri Lanka adopts 19th Amendment

  1. The legislation envisages the dilution of many powers of Executive Presidency, which had been in force since 1978.
  2. The 225-strong Parliament cleared the Bill with 212 members voting in favour of the legislation. 10 were absent – 1 voted against – 1 abstained.

  3. Among the important features of the Bill:
    • The reduction in the terms of President & Parliament from 6 years to 5 years
    • Re-introduction of a 2-term limit that a person can have as President
    • The power of President to dissolve Parliament only after 4 1/2 years [unlike one year, as prevalent now]
    • The revival of Constitutional Council & the establishment of independent commissions.