Changes likely to draft 20th Amendment

The committee appointed to draft the 20th Amendment to the Constitution will make further amendments to the draft bill if required, Cabinet co-spokesman Minister Udaya Gammanpila said today.

Addressing the weekly cabinet briefing, Minister Gammanpila said the Minister of Justice will present the draft of the 20th Amendment to the Constitution to Parliament two weeks from the date of the Gazette notification published in this regard.

The draft 20th Amendment to the Constitution was gazetted by the Ministry of Justice on 03 September.

Cabinet co-spokesman Minister Gammanpila said since the publishing of the Gazette, two weeks was allocated to obtain opinions from various parties, including the Opposition, experts and the general public.

Once the draft is presented to the Parliament by the Justice Minister, the first reading will be held. Following this another one week will be allocated for the Supreme Court to consider and study the draft of the 20th Amendment. The Supreme Court will then inform which articles require to be amended and which require a public referendum, he explained.

Minister Gammanpila said depending on the Supreme Court’s recommendation, the Committee appointed to draft the 20th Amendment will consider the articles that require to be amended and there is a possibility for further amendments to take place.

The Government is confident of obtaining a 2/3rd majority in Parliament to pass the proposed 20th Amendment to the Constitution, he said.

The Minister further said all short comings reported with regard to the 20th Amendment to the Constitution will be addressed at the Committee Stage debate in Parliament.

Meanwhile, Cabinet spokesman Keheliya Rambukwella said that it was the democratic right of various parties to express their opinions with regard to the 20th Amendment to the Constitution.

However, the final decision on the matter will be taken by obtaining the 2/3rd majority in Parliament, he added. (Colombo Gazette)

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