Sirisena’s party doesn’t want referendum on draft Constitution

"We can't agree to holding a referendum. We will only back a reform which will not require a referendum," said Minister of Social Empowerment S B Dissanayake

By: PTI | Colombo | Published: April 9, 2017 2:02 pm
Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena, Maithripala Sirisena, Sri Lanka, Minister of Social Empowerment, Minister of Social Empowerment, S B Dissanayake, Draft Constitution, Indian Express, Indian Express News Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena (Source: PTI)

Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena’s party is opposed to holding a national referendum on the proposed draft Constitution, a senior minister has said. “We can’t agree to holding a referendum. We will only back a reform which will not require a referendum,” S B Dissanayake, the Minister of Social Empowerment, said.

Dissanayake, who is a member of Sirisena’s Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP), said Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe’s United National Party (UNP) was not in agreement with the electoral reform proposed by the SLFP in the Constitution. “They do not want to go back to the first past the post system (from the current proportional representation).”

Meanwhile, Rauff Hakeem, the leader of Sri Lanka Muslim Congress, said holding a national referendum was a must to implement a new Constitution.

Hakeem said certain parties were trying to change the current proportional representation system with ulterior political motives.

Minority and smaller political parties want the current proportional representation system to continue.

The new Constitution will replace the current executive president headed Constitution adopted in 1978. PTI Corr

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