Indicating that Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) would extend conditional support for the scrapping of the executive presidency, Leader of Opposition Sajith Premadasa said his party would support such an amendment but said it has to be implemented after holding an election.
“We believed in executive Presidency initially. However, we have now understood the damage it could cause to the rule of law. Therefore, we have changed our stance on it now,” Mr. Premadasa told the SJB Lawyers Association convention.
“However, we are not favourable towards abolishing the presidency without holding a presidential election or any election for that matter. We insist that people’s right to franchise should not be violated,” he said.
“We understand that one President’s henchmen has been vested with the task of abolishing the executive presidency. He together with some members of civil society have undertaken this task. They are now putting feelers on scrapping the presidency at the moment, saying the time is ripe for this constitutional reform,” he added.
Mr. Premadasa said his party will strive for elections before any amendment of the constitution.
Also, he reiterated that the constitutional council of which he is a member will never become a slave of the President. “Constitutional Council will always make people-friendly democratic decisions and will not become President’s slave.