SLMC backs MR’s constitutional amendment proposals

*Will not join government
*Govt. assured of 2/3 majority

by Zacki Jabbar

The Sri Lanka Muslim Congress yesterday decided to unconditionally support the constitutional amendments that President Mahinda Rajapaksa has proposed, including the provision for a sitting President to contest a third term.

National Orgniser of the SLMC and former Member of Parliament Shafeek Rajabdeen told The Island, last night that they would not join the government but vote for the amendments.

"Our decision was unanimously adopted by the party’s High Command, which met at Darussalam yesterday."

With the backing of the 8-MP-strong SLMC President Rajapaksa is now assured of a two-thirds majority to get the required legislation through parliament.

Until yesterday the government had 144 seats plus the committed support of Opposition MPs, Prabha Ganeshan and P. Digambaram.

President Rajapaksa’s constitutional reform proposals also include an amendment to the 17th amendment, which would establish a Consitutional Committee tasked with appointing the members of the Constitutional Council.

The Constitutional Committee is to comprise the Prime Minister, the Speaker, the Chief Government Whip and two members nominated by the Opposition.

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