VASUDEVA TO ABOLISH THE PRESIDENCY (98 Sep 16)
Mr. Vasudeva Nanayakkara, the LSSP MP has told "The Island" that, next week, he would place before the parliament a private member's bill to abolish the executive presidency. The bill will recommend that "all executive presidential powers be vested with parliament with a cabinet of ministers headed by the prime minister". Mr. Nanayakkara has expressed "confidence of securing a two-third majority in parliament with ease".
It is unlikely that Mr. Nanayakkara will succeed in obtaining the required majority despite his confidence. The SLFP component of the government parliamentary group knows very well that if not for the executive presidency the government would have fallen by now. The SLFP MP's are not likely to vote with Mr. Nanayakkara even if the bill is presented before the parliament.
Mr. Nanayakkara's intention goes onto show that a section of the LSSP is now prepared to bring this government down. The LSSP joined the government this time mainly because it was interested in amending the constitution so as to devolve more power to the Eastern and Northern provinces. As it is clear that Ms. Kumaratunga has gone back on the G.L.-Neelan package in the face of opposition from the Sinhala Nationalist forces, some members of the LSSP do not have much faith in the government. However the LSSP may be forced to withhold the bill for sometime by those who do not wish to relinquish power at this stage.