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Summary of the Prime Minister’s speech

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Summery of the Prime Minister’s speech. Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe addressed the nation last evening, 29th May 2022. The main points of the Address:

There are 2 major issues, apart from the economic issues. They are:

  1. The 21st Amendment: The Party Leaders are finalizing this.
  2. The abolition of the Executive Presidency: The timing and methodology to be decided by the Party Leaders.

Mr. Wickremesinghe proposes changing the structure of the Parliament and creation of a new system combining the existing system of Parliament (Westminster system) and the system of State Councils which were in place from 1921 to 1947.

  • Strengthening Parliament powers: Proposal for a stronger and more powerful law to strengthen Parliament to exercise monetary powers.
  • Strengthening the powers of Committees: There are 3 Committees on Government Finance – The Public Finance Committee, The Accounts Committee and The Committee on Public Enterprises. Looking at establishing two new Committees on Monetary Affairs. A Legal and Methodological Committee will be appointed to attend to this.
  • Ten Oversight Committees to be appointed by Parliament.
  • Youth representatives for 15 Committees: Proposal for 4 youth representatives in each of these committees. 1 representative to be appointed by the Youth Parliament and the other 3 from those who are currently engaged in protests and other Activist Groups. The procedure will be decided by the Youth Organizations. Young people will be given an opportunity to learn about problems and suggest their approach to them. They will be able to contest elections if they wish to.
  • National Council: Includes Speaker, Prime Minister, Opposition Leader and the leaders of the major parties. Will have the power to summon the Cabinet and Chairmen of Committees.

The new system that has been proposed will hold the President, Cabinet of Ministers, the National Council and all the Committees accountable to Parliament.

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