Sri Lanka’s ruling party will press ahead with constitutional reforms to allow President Mahinda Rajapakse to run for a third term in office, a senior government source claimed today.
The Constitutional reforms the UPFA government expects to introduce on priority basis in the next few weeks will include the change of term of office a President is permitted to hold under the present Constitution.
“The change is not intended to give an opportunity to President Rajapakse, but to strengthen democracy and stabilise the government,” the paper quoted an unnamed minister as saying. The current constitution limits a president to a maximum of 12 years in office.
The new UPFA government is also planning to change the Preferential Representative System. Accordingly, the ward system will be introduced to the local government elections and a combination of the PR system and the First Past the Post system for the Provincial Council and Parliamentary elections.
Some amendments need Two-Thirds majority and others a simple majority to get into the Statute book. More influential and critical amendments need the Supreme Court clearance and the approval by the people through a referendum. With assistance of all constituent parties of the UPFA and the cooperation of the opposition members the government is determined to pass those urgent constitutional amendments before November.