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Bill to clip Sri Lankan presidential powers ready for debate

April 10, 2015

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — A Sri Lankan minister says a bill to clip enormous presidential powers is ready for debate in Parliament as part of democratic reforms promised by President Maithripala Sirisena on his way to being elected.

Deputy Foreign Minister Ajith Perera told reporters Friday that Parliament will debate the bill on April 20 and 21 and he is confident of receiving a two-thirds majority.

He says the changes including independent commissions to appoint officials for the judiciary, elections, police and public service. Also the president will not be able to dissolve Parliament at his or her discretion.

Sirisena’s predecessor Mahinda Rajapaksa was accused of ruling autocratically by eliminating a two-term limit of presidency and bringing under him powers to make all top appointments.

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