The Prime Minister and the Opposition Leader have handed over their nominations to the Parliamentary Council established by the 18th Amendment to the Constitution.
The Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe has named UNP National List MP D.M. Swaminathan as his nominee to the Parliamentary Council while Prime Minister D.M. Jayaratna has named UPFA MP A.H.M. Azwar as his nominee.
This Parliamentary Council was introduced by the 18th Amendment to the Constitution, which was passed amidst protest from the opposition. It replaces the powerful Constitutional Council, but has powers only to recommend persons to the independent committees.
The Prime Minister, the Opposition Leader and the Speaker are compulsory members of the committee. The Prime Minister and the Opposition Leader can nominate one person each to the committee from the communities to which the compulsory members do not belong.
The Opposition Leader previously nominated TNA Parliamentarian M.A. Sumanthiran, but the TNA categorically declined the position.
The Speaker’s Office verified the receipt of the Opposition Leader’s letter forwarding his nominee’s name and said the names would be sent to President Mahinda Rajapaksa for approval.