Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe’s United National Party (UNP) announced it will support a new constitution that will retain the current executive presidential system, but with a greater evolution of power in a unitary state.
The policy-making Executive Committee of the UNP in a major policy decision declared its support to keep the presidency while changing the electoral system in favour of a hybrid of first-past-the-post and proportional representation.
The UNP said it supports a system where the prime minister will be answerable to parliament and the executive exercising the powers already granted by the current constitution.
“…we will support a system where the special powers exercised by President Maithripala Sirisena will be continued,” the UNP said in a statement.
It is in line with the UNP’s manifesto for the August 2015 parliamentary election.
It said it was also for a greater devolution of power, but did not say if it would be in line with the 13th amendment to the constitution which established the Provincial Council system.
However, it said its proposal has suggested to grant the consent of the Working Committee to the draft Constitution and to provide utmost support for the devolution of power under a unitary state.