According to the 19th Amendment, the Constitution empowered the Constitutional Council to replace the Parliamentary Council to formulate a new Constitution. The Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition shall have the power to nominate five persons, two of whom shall be Members of Parliament and the other three shall be members of civil society. The five members nominated by the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition shall be appointed by the President.
“We will decide the composition of the CC once Parliament convenes but so far we have not decided who would be Mahinda Rajapaksa’s nominee,” Prof. Peiris said, addressing a press conference at the Prime Minister office.
He said that on 26 October a new Government was formed by President Maithripala Sirisena by appointing Mahinda Rajapaksa as the Prime Minister, and the new appointees would not follow the policies of the Yahapalanaya administration.
Responding to a question on the report which is due to be tabled by the Steering Committee of the Constitutional Assembly, Prof. Peiris said that the matter would be discussed with the necessary parties in due course. “We haven’t decided yet but will be focused on the matter soon,” he added.
“If the Constitution of Sri Lanka needed to change that would be carried out according to public opinion.”
He insisted that Mahinda Rajapaksa accepted the post of Prime Minister offered by President Maithripala Sirisena to prevent the damage caused by the Coalition Government during the last three years. “The UNP-led Coalition Government had taken decisions which are irreversible and they will cause serious consciences to the economy. Therefore Mahinda Rajapaksa couldn’t wait anymore as if he waited more the entire economy could have collapsed and we won’t be able to recover it for a long time.” He noted that internal tax imposed by the Government had caused fuel price hike which could be controlled by proper management. Mahinda Rajapaksa had reduced the internal tax imposed by the Government using the power vested him by appointing him as Finance Minister to reduce the price such as fuel, he said.