Governors, PC members in new Senate

Constitutional amendments

The proposed Senate will include all Provincial Governors, five members each from Provincial councils (Palath Sabha), according to constitutional changes now being formulated.

The Chairman of the Senate, according to these plans, will be selected from among the Governors of provinces. Government sources said yesterday that former Speaker, W.J.M. Lokubandara, who is now Governor of Sabaragamuwa province, would be the first Chaiman.

W.J.M. Lokuban-dara: Likely Senate Chairman

Another provision in the constitutional amendments to establish the Senate would be empowering it to veto by majority vote decisions made by a Provincial Council. This is in respect of some of the powers already vested in the Provincial Councils in terms of the law.

Constitutional amendments to establish a Senate are to be part of a string of amendments to be introduced in Parliament.

The first will be amendments to make provision for an elected president to contest any number of times at a presidential election. This is by deleting existing provisions which restricts the term to two. Another amendment is intended to make changes in the existing 17th Amendment to the Constitution.

Through these amendments, it will be the president and not an all-party constitutional council that appoints the chairperson and members of the independent election commission, national police commission and other commissions.

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