Kumaratunge acted contrary to constitution - Peiris

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 13 May 2003, 13:55 GMT]
Sri Lanka’s United National Front government Tuesday said the taking over of the Development Lottery Board that comes under a minister in the UNF cabinet by President Ms. Chandrika Kumaratunge is contrary to the constitution of Sri Lanka.

"President Kumaratunge should have consulted the Prime Minister as both leaders represent two different political parties. The 1978 constitution requires so," said Constitutional Affairs Minister and UNF cabinet spokesman, Professor G.L.Peiris, addressing a special press briefing Tuesday, sources said.

"Our government is prepared to resolve the present constitutional crisis through discussion. Prime Minister Mr.Ranil Wickremasinghe has already indicated this to the President. The President should initiate the discussion in this regard. The country could not move forward without consultation between the heads of the executive and legislature who are from two different political parties," said Peiris.

"The UNF government has obtained a clear mandate at the last general election. If the President alters the subjects of ministers the mandate given by the people to the government will be of no use. The party that has obtained the mandate should be allowed to govern the country without any interference; if not, democracy will be destroyed," Peiris added.

The present constitutional crisis would negatively affect the forthcoming Sri Lanka Aid Donor Conference, scheduled to be held in Japan during the first week of June, Peiris said.

When a journalist asked about moves by the President to dissolve the parliament if the present crisis is not resolved amicably, Peiris said that the UNF is prepared to face an early general election and it has the ability to obtain a bigger majority if a general election is held.

 

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