Feb 7, 2019

Speaker hits back at President’s accusations on Constitutional Council

Speaker of Parliament Karu Jayasuriya says the accusation made by President Maithripala Sirisena that ‘‘the seniority is not at all counted’ by the Constitutional Council for the appointments of the Council is an erroneous statement.
The Speaker stated this at the commencement of the Parliament session today (07).
President Sirisena, delivering a special statement at the House yesterday (07), said the Constitutional Council completely disregards seniority when appointing members for the Council.
However, in response Speaker Karu Jayasuriya said today, he had detailed the method adopted in selecting suitable persons for the Constitutional Council in the letter he had submitted to the President on 02.01.2019.
He continued, “What we stated was that seniority was not the only yardstick that we had adopted” in the selection procedure.
The Speaker added that each and every name ratified by the Council was only the recommendations listed by the President and that “the Constitutional Council had not recommended any name whimsically or outside the lists”.
Hence, no irregularity or injustice has been committed to selecting names out of the recommendations sent by the President, the Speaker said. “We see nothing wrong in this.”
Commenting on the President’s claim that the Constitutional Council has rejected 12 nominations, the Speaker emphasized the Council selects only one name out of 3 to 4 recommendations; however depicting this as a ‘rejection’ of other nominations, is an “an injustice incurred on the Constitutional Council”.
Stating that a Constitutional Council becomes a ‘futile effort’ if only the seniority is considered prominence in the selection procedure, the Speaker continued that he does not intend to enter into arguments by citing such instances where even the President had also done similarly, and he believes the Constitutional Council has duly fulfilled its duty in selecting the qualified persons without being distracted by any influences as per the 19th amendment to the Constitution.

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