18 A: Parliamentary Council
waits for President’s move


8 A: Parliamentary Council waits for President’s move

By Shamindra Ferdinando

Secretary General of Parliament Dhammika Kitulegoda says President Mahinda Rajapaksa will now have to propose members to the Election Commission, the Public Service Commission, the National Police Commission, the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka, the Permanent Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery and Corruption, the Finance Commission and the Delimitation Commission.

The five-member Parliamentary Council will meet only after President Rajapaksa makes his move, Kitulgoda says, while ruling out the need for formal appointment of the Parliamentary Council after the Prime Minister and the Opposition Leader nominate their representatives.

Prime Minister D. M. Jayaratne and UNP and Opposition leader Wickremesinghe nominated A. H. M. Azwer and S. Swaminathan, respectively.

Responding to a query by The Island, the Secretary General said that once the Parliamentary Council had received the President’s recommendations, it would request leaders of political parties represented in parliament to recommend persons to the commissions.

The official said that the President had to set the ball rolling. Unlike the 17th Amendment, the process under the 18th Amendment would begin at the Office of the President, Kitulegoda said.

Although the 18th A is silent on the chairmanship of the Parliamentary Council and quorum, Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa is expected to tackle the issue, political source say.

Speaker Rajapaksa is empowered to continue with the nominating process, even if Opposition Leader and his nominee boycott the Parliamentary Council, sources said.

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