Mahinda enjoys more power than Obama - Ranil


by Zacki Jabbar

Since President Mahinda Rajapaksa enjoyed more powers than even US President Barack Obama, a new constitution should ensure that the executive presidency is replaced by a Head of State, who would not be able to abuse his authority, UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe said on Thursday.

Speaking to the media at Sirikotha after launching the UNP’s new draft constitution, via the party website, the UNP leader said that a mere change in the name of that institution would not help remove the curse.

The powers to be vested in the Head of State should be clearly defined and interpreted so that there would be no room for manipulation in the future, the UNP leader said, adding that the country had in recent years witnessed unprecedented abuse of power.

Wickremesinghe said that the UNP’s draft proposals for a new constitution which he unveiled at the Parliamentary Complex on Wednesday, needed to be debated across the widest spectrum possible so as to ensure that the people’s will and not the whims and fancies of politicians prevailed in the administration of the country.

"We are prepared to discuss what is best for the country", he noted, predicting that it would not be long before a UNP government was installed in office.

The people have suffered immensely due to the loop holes in the current constitution. A countrywide debate was essential if past abuses were to be avoided, Wickremesinghe stressed.

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