The 21st amendment to the Constitution of Lanka will be presented to the cabinet for approval on Monday

New Delhi: Justice Minister Vijayadasa Rajapaksa said on Sunday that the 21st amendment to the constitution to empower the Sri Lankan parliament as an acting speaker would be tabled for cabinet approval on Monday.

The 21st amendment is expected to repeal 20A of the constitution, which gives President Gotabaya Rajapaksa autocratic powers, after scrapping the 19th amendment that strengthened parliament.

Rajapaksa said there was a special discussion on the matter last week with the support of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa. He participated in discussions with Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and Foreign Minister G L Peiris, an online news portal Lanka First reported.

Rajapaksa said the 21st amendment to the constitution, including proposals submitted by political parties and various other parties, would be submitted to the cabinet for approval on Monday, the portal reported.

He said the draft amendments would be gazetted after getting the cabinet nod. Rajapaksa said he expected to make a statement in parliament next week on the 21st amendment to the constitution. Prime Minister Wickremesinghe last week advocated the 21st amendment to the constitution, saying it would curtail the president’s unlimited powers, while increasing the role of parliament in governing the debt-ridden country, which is also facing an unprecedented political turmoil. is facing.

The powerful Rajapaksa family tightened their grip on power after a landslide victory in the general elections in August 2020, allowing them to amend the constitution to restore presidential powers and install close family members in key positions .

Constitutional reform was a major issue when Wickremesinghe and Rajapaksa took over as prime ministers on 12 May.

Sri Lanka has been grappling with unprecedented economic turmoil since independence from Britain in 1948.

Sri Lanka’s economic crisis has sparked political unrest with protesters demanding the president’s resignation. Under 21A, the President will be held accountable to the Parliament.

The cabinet of ministers is also accountable to the Parliament. The National Council is also answerable to the Parliament. Fifteen committees and oversight committees are accountable to the Parliament.

In mid-April Sri Lanka announced that it was unable to meet its foreign debt payments and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) classified Sri Lanka’s debt as volatile. So debt restructuring was important for the IMF programme.