Colombo: A Sri Lankan ruling coalition legislator has said that he would do everything to defeat President Mahinda Rajapaksa if he tried to hold Presidential election without amending the constitution. “What we see today is a dictatorial regime controlled by a few bureaucrats,” said Buddhist Monk Venerable Athuraliye Rathana, a legislator of Rajapaksa's ruling United Peoples Freedom Alliance (UPFA) coalition.
His remarks came as a blow to Rajapaksa, who is bracing up for snap presidential polls to seek a record third term. “There are moves to hold a snap presidential election based on astrological advice. I say don't do it without adopting the 19th amendment,” asserted Rathana, who launched a movement yesterday to win backing for a move to force the President to move the 19th amendment to the constitution.
His amendment presented to the main opposition leader Ranil Wickremesinghe in the presence of government and opposition legislators calls for abolition of the executive presidential system of government. The 225-member parliament to be empowered with a prime minister headed government. Rathana said he would do everything possible to ensure Rajapaksa's defeat at the election if held without the 19th amendment.
Sri Lanka President is widely believed to call a snap presidential election in a bid to win his third term. He may make the announcement after November 18, four years since the last election.
In Lanka, a presidential term is six years but the incumbents could call early elections after 4 years in office. Rajapaksa this week expressed his opposition to the demand to abolish the presidency.
He said he would agree to reform the presidential system if the Tamil diaspora and the main Tamil party, TNA were to give up their call for a separate Tamil state.