Former Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe says the powers of Parliament to legislate laws and in relation to state finances should be protected.
Speaking in Parliament today, during the Committee Stage Debate of the 2022 Budget, former Prime Minister Wickremesinghe said according to the country’s Constitution, the Cabinet of Ministers is also answerable to Parliament.
The former Premier however said following the enactment of the 20th Amendment to the Constitution, Parliament has faced difficulties in carrying out its functions.
The UNP leader noted even though certain Executive Powers are vested with the President, powers to legislate new laws lie with Parliament and the Cabinet is also responsible for running the country.
The former Prime Minister said however certain powers of Parliament have been challenged through the new Constitutional Amendment.
Former Prime Minister Wickremesinghe said the refusal to release the full report of the Presidential Commission of Inquiry on the Easter Sunday attacks is an example where powers and privileges of Parliament have not been respected.
The UNP leader said Members of Parliament should have access to the full report.
Former Premier Wickremesinghe noted that the non-disclosure agreement signed with an American firm regarding the Yugadanavi Power Plant is also in violation of the privileges of Parliamentarians.
The UNP leader also questioned the provisions used to appoint a number of Presidential Task Forces since the Head of State has constitutional powers to appoint any number of Presidential Commissions on an advisory capacity.
Former Prime Minister Wickremesinghe, therefore, stressed that such Task Forces cannot work arbitrarily and come under the purview of Parliament.