The 19th Amendment to the Constitution was passed with a vast majority in Parliament, a short while ago on Tuesday (28), with the government gaining 212 votes in favour.
Upon the conclusion of the voting, President Maithripala Sirisena said that the approval of the 19th Amendment with a two-third majority was a historic victory of the public. He earlier expressed with the much awaited enactment of the new amendment, the people of Sri Lanka will experience the true meaning of ‘democracy and peace’.
The new legislation, which suggested the removal of the Executive Powers of the President, was passed with a majority of 212 votes and one against.
Ten Parliamentarians including Keheliya Rambukwella, Premalal Jayasekara, Susantha Punchinilame, Jagath Balasuriya, Ven. Ellawala Medhananda Thera, Janaka Bandara, and Basil Rajapaksa were absent at the voting.
In the past few days, there were certain obstacles with regard to presenting of this 19th Amendment to Parliament. The 19th Amendment, which was a major aspect among the key targets to be achieved in the government’s 100-day pledge, had been stuck in a deadlock as the Opposition opposed to extend its support to pass the new legislation.
The Sri Lanka Freedom Party expressed the 19th Amendment and the electoral reforms should come hand in hand.
However, President Sirisena later appealed to all political parties to assist in passing the 19th Amendment to the Constitution in order to firmly establishing freedom and democracy in the country.