The ongoing tussle between the Sri Lankan executive and legislature over rules governing the Constitutional Council has taken a new turn with the submission of draft rules by Justice Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe. His proposals aim to enhance transparency, accountability, and integrity in the Council’s decision-making process.
The draft rules address concerns raised by the Attorney General’s Department regarding the previous draft, which was withdrawn due to constitutional violations. These new rules emphasize the importance of seeking the Chief Justice’s opinion on nominations and ensuring that appointees are of the highest caliber and have no conflicts of interest.
President Wickremesinghe’s recent comments suggesting that the Constitutional Council falls under the executive branch have further fueled the debate. Opposition parties and civil society groups maintain that the Council is part of the legislature and serves as a crucial check on presidential power.
The Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) announced by President Wickremesinghe to address the issues surrounding the Constitutional Council is expected to play a pivotal role in resolving this ongoing standoff.