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Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Sri Lanka: New president needs to sustain the confidence of all citizens, especially the Aragalaya youth – NPC

Image courtesy of Thilina Kaluthotage @ThilinaKalu.

Issuing a statement the National Peace Council says that the new president should be decided by consensus  s/he needs to sustain the confidence of all citizens, especially the youth whose future has been undermined.  The immediate duties of the president would be to enact the 21st amendment and also fix dates for election of parliamentary and provincial elections as early as possible.

The statement:

ELECTION BY PARLIAMENT NEEDS TO RECOGNISE PEOPLE’S UPRISING

The focus of attention at the present time is the presidential election to take place in parliament following the confirmed resignation from office of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa.  This election is not a routine process but is an outcome of an unprecedented public uprising known as the Aragalaya which forced the resignations of the president, prime minister and cabinet of ministers and effectively nullified the electoral mandates obtained by them three years ago. After all it is the power of the people that is vested to the government by the constitution (Article 4).

The National Peace Council is deeply perturbed by the canvassing, lobbying and rhetoric that ignores the ground realities of a people’s uprising against the individuals and systems that have led to national ruin. Economically. morally and socially. We also note that the parliamentarians who are taking part in the election of the new president do so with a mandate that has been effectively nullified by the public uprising. This applies in particular to the members of the ruling party and former government who have lost their moral legitimacy to govern the country which led to their resignations.

In this context we believe that it is the duty of the leaders of the political parties in parliament to decide on the new president by consensus until such time as national elections are called and a new mandate is obtained directly from the people.  We believe that the new president should be able to work with all parties and also be able to work with expertise in the country and institutions locally and internationally and, most of all, be acceptable to the people of the country.

Governance is not merely the exercise of power but the safeguard of the rights of each individual and the welfare of all.  The president needs to sustain the confidence of all citizens, especially the youth whose future has been undermined.  The immediate duties of the president would be to enact the 21st amendment and also fix dates for election of parliamentary and provincial elections as early as possible.

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