Constitutional Amendment Hits Fresh Snag: SC Says 20A Requires 2/3 Majority In Parliament And Approval At Referendum

The 20th Amendment to the Constitution hit a fresh snag today when Deputy Speaker Ananda Kumarasiri conveyed to the House that certain clauses of the amendment required a two-thirds majority in Parliament and the approval at a referendum. 

The Deputy Speaker made this statement while announcing the opinion of the Supreme Court on the draft of the 20th Amendment to the constitution presented by JVP Parliamentarian Vijitha Herath. 

The main purpose of the 20th Amendment was to abolish the Executive Presidency - a key promise of President Maithripala Sirisena's election campaign. 

The legislature now has the opinion of amending the clauses which required a two-thirds majority and the approval at a referendum or embarking on the arduous task of fulfilling the mandatory legal requirements. 

As there are diverse opinions over the 20th Amendment, especially on the part of the Joint Opposition, it is unlikely to believe that the 20th Amendment, in its present form, will draw the support of a two-thirds majority. 

Either way, legal experts said, this would delay the process of passing the 20th Amendment to the constitution in Parliament.

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