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President highlights importance of executive powers in presidential role

May 30, Colombo (LNW): President Ranil Wickremesinghe has underscored that none of the current presidential candidates have expressed intentions to abolish the executive powers associated with the presidency.

Speaking at a forum for legal professionals, the President highlighted that the executive authority vested in the presidency has been instrumental in Sri Lanka’s economic development and in resolving the 30-year civil conflict.

While acknowledging both the benefits and drawbacks of the executive presidency, President Wickremesinghe noted a significant disconnect between the Executive President and the rest of the government during the period of the good governance government.

“The executive powers were crucial in maintaining stability during the ‘Aragalaya’. This was particularly evident when there was no clear successor for the premiership. On one occasion, when the President travelled to Trincomalee, there were calls for my resignation as Prime Minister,” he said.

“However, I made it clear that I could only resign if there was a parliamentary majority, and even then, the resignation would need to be submitted to the President. Resigning under external pressure or personal threats, such as those to my residence, would risk the rise of an undemocratic successor,” Wickremesinghe claimed.

He also reaffirmed the government’s commitment to holding the presidential election in the future.

“None of the candidates seeking the presidency have proposed abolishing its executive authority. It is essential that we develop a programme aimed at strengthening the role and capabilities of the parliament,” he added.

President Wickremesinghe made these remarks during the “What’s New” dialogue on legal reforms with young legal professionals at a workshop held at the Presidential Secretariat on Tuesday.

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