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JHU highlights contradictions in Fonseka campaign

Environment and Natural Resource Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka said the parties, which backed Presidential candidate Sarath Fonseka at the upcoming election, contradicted each other’s statements at public rallies.

He said General (Retd) Fonseka was also contradicting the statements made by members of other parties supporting him.

Addressing the media on Thursday at the Mahaweli Centre in Colombo, Minister Ranawaka added that Gen. Fonseka was said to have entered politics with the aim of abolishing the executive presidency. Although the JVP said that Fonseka would function only as a ceremonial president after scrapping the executive presidency, Fonseka himself had said that he didn’t want to be another William Gopallawa.

Minister Ranawaka said the JVP had reiterated that there was no place for a prime minister in a caretaker Cabinet. But UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe had told a weekly newspaper that he would be the executive premierr in the caretaker Cabinet, Ranawaka said.

He said Mangala Samaraweera had claimed he would be the executive prime minister after the abolition of the executive presidency. JVP heavyweight MP K. D. Lalkantha recently said former Chief Justice Sarath N. Silva would be made the executive prime minister in a future government headed by Fonseka. Today, all of them including Fonseka talk different things at different times," said the Minister.

He said the next executive President could not abolish the executive presidency. It has to go through Parliament. The proposal to scrap the executive presidency should be passed in Parliament with a two-third majority first. Then, there will be a referendum. But the problem is that no party would get such a majority under the current proportional representation of elections. It would first require a change to the entire electoral system.

Minister Ranawaka said Mahinda Rajapaksa is the most suitable leader to abolish the executive presidency as he will be elected to his second and last term. He would have to abolish the executive Presidency to be in politics after the second term. Former President Chandrika Kumaratunga was to do it but failed.

Minister Ranawaka criticized the JVP for not presenting any proposal in Parliament to abolish the executive presidency. Only Wijedasa Rajapaksa, MP, once proposed to the House to scrap the executive presidency.

"As JHU, we are not against the executive presidency, but we proposed that it should be answerable to the judiciary and Parliament," Minister Ranawaka said.

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