Sri Lankan Parliament on Tuesday debated abolition of Executive Presidency as the tug of war between President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe continued.
The United National Party (UNP) led by Mr. Wickremsinghe told Parliament that they will support moves to slash the powers of the President.
UNP MP and former minister Malik Samarawickrema said that the recent events showed why the Executive Presidency must be abolished.
He called on Parliament to support the 20th amendment presented by the People’s freedom party to abolish the Executive Presidency.
The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) and the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) said they will support the 20th amendment to the constitution.
The amendment was introduced in parliament a few months back but it had not mustered support from UNP and other parties but with changed circumstances, UNP has decided to support it.
Meanwhile, some UNP MPs have challenged the appointment of the former president and MP Mahinda Rajapaksa as the opposition leader in Parliament.
Speaker agreed to nominate Mr. Rajapaksa replacing TNA leader R Sampanthan because his alliance became the largest in opposition.
However, UNP MP Lakshman Kiriella and TNA MP M A Sumanthiran raised legal points on Rajapaksa’s eligibility to continue as an MP since he resigned from UPFA, the party that he was elected from and became a member of the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP).
The matter has been referred to select committee in parliament. In another development, three MPs from Rajapaksa side have joined the UNP -led government side in Parliament.