Sri Lanka crisis: Gotabaya Rajapaksa ready to abolish executive presidency

Gotabaya Rajapaksa ready to abolish executive presidency

COLOMBO: Sri Lanka President Gotabaya Rajapaksa on Wednesday announced that he is ready to abolish the executive presidency after discussing the issue with the Opposition regarding the formation of the new government.

Gotabaya said he is ready to abolish the executive presidency once the country stabilises and will also appoint a new PM and cabinet this week, Sri Lanka’s Newswire reported.
He also said that he will empower the parliament, bringing back the 19th amendment.

This development comes after a meeting was held between UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe and President Rajapaksa. Sri Lanka’s parliamentary group of Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) last month had come up with a private member’s bill to scrap the 20th amendment and remove the powers of the executive presidency.

Sri Lankan MP Harshana Rajakaruna had said a constitutional amendment will be brought in to scrap the powers of the President.

Sri Lanka’s economic situation will worsen if political stability is not achieved, the country’s Central Bank Governor Nandalal Weerasinghe warned on Wednesday as the island nation continued to witness large-scale violence.

Addressing a media briefing in Colombo, Weerasinghe said he has conveyed to President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and other political leaders that he would step down from the post, if the current political crisis is not solved in the coming weeks.

The central bank chief said that it was challenging to revive an economy in a country where law and order were not maintained.

Sri Lanka Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa resigned on Monday as violence erupted in the country. A number of violent incidents have taken place in the country after pro-government groups clashed with anti-government protesters on Monday, leaving eight people dead and over 200 others injured.

Sri Lanka has been suffering from the worst economic crisis in the country’s history. The economic situation was caused by shortages of foreign currency as tourist flows dried up during the COVID-19 pandemic, preventing the country from purchasing enough fuel. (ANI)