Posted on 09.15.2019 by Chandana Sirimalwatte in Local News with 0 Comments
Karu Jayasuriya, Speaker of Parliament, Karu Jayasuriya is being proposed as a ‘National Candidate’ to run in the presidential election campaign and he has vowed to abolish Executive Presidency once the voters elected him for the next presidency.
The Speaker has come into the presidential race in a situation where the UNP leadership is unable to nominate its candidate but the deputy leader Sajith Premadasa is already launched a campaign announcing he would be the nominee.
The Constitution’s 19th Amendment has already clipped some of the next President’s Executive powers. Party insiders said the UNP had already decided at its 2014 National Convention to do away with the Executive Presidency, but argued the party did not have the legislative support to implement it after coming into office in 2015.
Speaker Jayasuriya has unofficially intimated his willingness to be a “National Candidate”, with the backing of civil society groups but says he will come on the UNP/NDF ticket only if invited by the party.
According to sources, the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) would back Jayasuriya’s candidature if his platform is the abolition of the Executive Presidency. They say that he has the backing of the Buddhist monks, the Sinhala Buddhist majority. But still the main political groups representing the minorities together with sections of major political parties are unlikely to support a move to abolish executive presidency. President Maithripala Sirisena, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and Opposition Leader Mahinda Rajapaksa discussed the feasibility of moving for the abolition of the Executive Presidency before a presidential election. The move was shelved as former president Rajapaksa reportedly said it was too late to pursue the matter as his party had already announced a presidential candidate.