Constitutional reforms pledged in Sri Lankan elections

08:56, March 29, 2010      

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Reforming Sri Lanka's constitution in a fresh parliament is being discussed in the platform leading to the April 8 parliamentary election, a senior government minister said on Sunday.

Champika Ranawaka, the minister of Environment told reporters that the ruling coalition would bring in amendments to make the executive presidency accountable to parliament and judiciary.

"We will bring in amendments to the existing constitution," said Ranawaka, but he stressed that there is no way to bring in a new constitution.

Sri Lanka's powerful executive president based system of government adopted in 1978 gives legal immunity to the executive president and his action could not be quizzed in parliament.

Meanwhile, the main opposition leader Ranil Wickremesinghe told an election rally in Central Province that a future government under him would take action to regain the suspended European Union (EU) trade concessions for Sri Lanka's exports.

The EU has decided to suspend the facility beginning August pinned to Sri Lanka's human rights and labor laws.

"I will win back the EU market and create a new market in India, " Wickremesinghe said.

President Mahinda Rajapaksa's ruling coalition is the clear favorite to retain control of the 225-member assembly for a further six-year term, analysts say.

Source: Xinhua
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