20th Amendment presented in P’ment

Thursday, 24 August 2017 00:55 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

  • Seeks to insert two new articles to hold provincial council elections on the same day and vest powers of expired councils in Parliament 



By Ashwin Hemmathagama – Our Lobby Correspondent

The 20th Amendment Bill to the Constitution was moved yesterday in Parliament as the Bill seeks House approval to insert two new articles and amend Article 154E.

The proposed insertion, which will be placed just after Article 154D, will be sighted as Article 154DD where the election of members to all Provincial Councils will be held on the same date. The Parliament will have the discretion to determine the date on which all the Provincial Councils will stand dissolved. However, such a specified date will not be later than the expiration of the terms of the last constituted Provincial Council.

Article 154E of the Constitution will be amended by the substitution of the words “as a dissolution of the Council” with “as a dissolution of the Council provided, however, upon the determination of the specific date under Article 154DD – (a) the terms of the office of any Provincial Council ending prior to the specific date shall be deemed to be extended up to the specific date and such Provincial Council shall stand dissolved on the specific date; or (b) the term of office of any Provincial Council which continues beyond the specified date shall end on the specified date and such Provincial Council shall stand dissolved on the specified date.”

Article 154EE, which will be inserted immediately after Article 154E of the Constitution, will set the ground, providing the Parliament with access to exercise the powers of a Provincial Council. According to the proposed Article 154EE “in the event of dissolution of any Provincial Council by reason of the operation of the provisions of sub-paragraph © of paragraph (8) of Article 154B or by any other reason specified in any law, the powers of such Provincial Council shall be exercised by the Parliament until the specified date and the provisions of Article 154L and 154M shall, mutatis mutandis apply in relation to the exercise of powers of the Provincial Council.”