Sri Lanka cabinet okays proposal to cut president’s power

Colombo, Nov 18 (IANS) Sri Lanka’s cabinet on Wednesday approved a proposal to abolish the executive presidency and transfer most of its power to parliament.

President Maithripala Sirisena submitted a cabinet paper seeking to abolish the executive presidential system, Xinhua news agency reported.

The president also sought support for a new electoral system which was approved by the cabinet.

“It is my expectation to introduce a new electoral system which is responsible to parliament, abolish executive presidency and transfer the powers of the president to the parliament and independent commissions,” the president had said earlier.

He also said discussions were being held regarding the establishment of a new constitution, fulfilling the promises given in the election manifesto.

“The new government has taken actions to establish the Election Commission to fulfill the expectations for free and fair elections, about which there had been a discussion for more than 40 years,” the president stated.

“The new government also has established institutions related to the important areas such as human rights, public service, courts and bribery and corruption,” he added.

President Sirisena, who came to power following elections in January, pointed out that the new government had implemented several plans regarding alleviating poverty, establishing freedom, strengthening free health and education.

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