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NewsCommon Presidential Candidate: Consensus building initiated

Common Presidential Candidate: Consensus building initiated

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[Political leaders at a public meeting held by NMSJ; Daily FT photo]
National Movement for Social Justice headed by Ven. Madiluvawe Sobhitha thero has drafted a plan pf action to build consensus among political parties in order to abolish Executive Presidency in Sri Lanka. The draft action plan to be the political programme of a common presidential candidate in the up coming presidential election and has been forwarded to political parties in Sri Lanka.

Among the salient features of the action plan are: The draft constitutional amendment shall be released along with the manifesto of the common candidate; The amendment shall take effect on the expiry of six months counted from the date of the Presidential election. The exact date on which the amendment becomes effective shall be stated in the amendment; The Bill for the amendment of the Constitution shall be placed before Parliament within one month of the Presidential election and the exact date on which it would be so presented shall be stated in the election manifesto; The post of President is abolished upon the amendment taking effect. The new (nominal) President shall be elected by Parliament

    The letter sent by the NMSJ follows:

Kotte Sri Naga Viharaya

A People’s Agenda for Creating a Just, Democratic and Decent Society by the Abolition of the Executive Presidency and the Re-introduction of the Seventeenth Amendment

As you are already aware, National Movement for Social Justice has launched a people’s movement for the abolition of the executive presidency and the re-introduction of the Seventeenth Amendment. The aim of that movement is to work towards the victory of a common candidate committed to attaining the above objectives and based on a short-term programme if the present Government does not do the same and instead proceeds to hold another Presidential election.

The above objectives are in consonance with the broad aspirations of the people and will contribute in a no small measure to free our country from the unfortunate situation it is presently in and establish an order which assures social justice, democracy, good governance and equal rights to all citizens irrespective of ethnicity, religion or caste.

The National Movement for Social Justice desires that your Party too becomes an active partner in the movement and contributes to the attainment of the aspirations of the people. As such, we would be thankful if you would inform us of the official position of your party on the programme put forward by us. The main features of the programme are as follows:

1. The immediate abolition of the executive presidency, the transfer of executive power to Parliament and the appointment of the Member of Parliament who commands the confidence of Parliament as Prime Minister
2. The re-introduction of the Seventeenth Amendment with necessary changes
3. Change the system of elections as a matter of priority so that the aspirations of the people are properly represented in the legislature
4. Put forward a detailed road map to attain the above within six months. The road map is as follows:
• The draft constitutional amendment shall be released along with the manifesto of the common candidate
• The amendment shall take effect on the expiry of six months counted from the date of the Presidential election. The exact date on which the amendment becomes effective shall be stated in the amendment
• The Bill for the amendment of the Constitution shall be placed before Parliament within one month of the Presidential election and the exact date on which it would be so presented shall be stated in the election manifesto
• The post of President is abolished upon the amendment taking effect. The new (nominal) President shall be elected by Parliament
• The new President shall appoint as Prime Minister, the Member of Parliament who commands the confidence of Parliament
5. A common candidate would be put forward at the next Presidential election and the victory of the common candidate shall be ensured by a combined effort.

An early reply would be greatly appreciated.

Yours faithfully,

Ven. Maduluwawe Sobitha
On behalf of the National Movement for Social Justice

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