20th Amendment of SL Constitution

Constitutional changeWhat this means?
Constitutional Council (CC) replaced by Parliamentary Council (PC)-Increased powers for PM -PK members of parliament only – allies of PM –Limited representation
Independent Commissions introduced by 19th amendment will be abolished-President has power to appoint and remove members of Public Service Commission – affects independence of commission -Undermining the independence of the public service
No mention of Right to Information Commission-President will appoint members into RTI –Lack of independence   
Audit Service Commission and National Procurement Commission abolished -These are important institutions that tackled bribery and corruption
Presidential immunity-PM will have full immunity -No fundamental rights petition can be filed against him -Immune from civil and criminal proceedings
Dissolving Parliament-President can dissolve parliament at his will after one year – remove PM and cabinet –Removes representation -Parliament will act in favour of PM to avoid parliament dissolution
No limitations to cabinet minister and deputy ministers-There is no limit to appointments which can lead to large number of ministers that are not to important –Lack of representationFinancial burden on public –Reduces effectiveness of parliament to act as a check
Urgent Bills reintroduced-President can refer bills to supreme court for bulls to be passed within 24-72 hours -This will be hidden from public eye
Gazetted bills challenge-Gazetted bills to be challenged goes from 2 weeks to one week -Reduces the time period in which the public is notices the proposed law, before it can be passed in parliament 
Dual citizens in parliament Dual citizens are no longer disqualified from contesting in elections -Citizens of ither countries will be involved in law making procedures
The President can appoint the Chief Justice and other Judges of the Supreme Court and Court of Appeal Has the power to appoint and remove the Attorney-General, Auditor-General, the Ombudsman, the Secretary-General of Parliament-Previously he would have to go through CC to get approval which is now replaced with PK –Allies of PM in influential positions

Constitutional changes reduced the power of the Prime Minister (PM):

  • New amendment allows President to remove PM
  • PM has no say in appointing ministers, sole authority to president
  • PM also has no say when dismissing ministers, sole authority to president

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